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 EPE  Vol.12 No.7 , July 2020
Using the United States Wind Turbine Database to Identify Increasing Turbine Size, Capacity and Other Development Trends
Abstract: The purpose of this article was to analyze data associated with advances in wind energy across the United States. While governments, academia, and the private sector generally know patterns of wind turbine development (i.e. turbine size and capacity growing in recent years), there is no known independent, reliable, and/or updated summary of these variables. Using data collected by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and partners, this study used descriptive statistics to show turbine development and growth patterns from 1981-2019. The newly created United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) represents the most comprehensive account of wind turbine information and was updated in January 2020. Variables I am interested in here are turbine manufacturer, state of project, turbine and project capacity, and turbine size. Findings provide empirical evidence to support the common, yet previously unrefined statements that wind turbines are growing larger in number, size and capacity. This growth is varied over spatial and temporal scales. I also provide evidence to show patterns of turbine manufacturing, with GE Wind dominating much of the US wind energy landscape today. I hope this work provides a timely resource for those interested in a variety of questions surrounding wind energy development in the United States. Perhaps more importantly, this analysis will hopefully inspire others to use what the USWTDB provides and answer larger questions surrounding wind energy futures.
Cite this paper: Walker, C. (2020) Using the United States Wind Turbine Database to Identify Increasing Turbine Size, Capacity and Other Development Trends. Energy and Power Engineering, 12, 407-431. doi: 10.4236/epe.2020.127025.
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