NREL finds that capacity factor of wind energy doubles when wind turbines go from 80 meters tall for most commercial turbines in the USA today to 140 meters tall. Germany's wind industry already averages 120 meters for new wind turbines, with some as tall as 140 meters. Wind power technology that reaches higher altitude gets to stronger and more reliable wind.
GE has space frame wind towers that are easier to assemble and can reach heights of 139 meter hub height GE space frame tower can be easily delivered to, and assembled at any project site, including those where terrain makes movement of traditional tower sections difficult.
The ultimate potential could be wind power that is ten times more than current electrical demand. There is the climate impact, in that stopping or slowing wind reduces the cooling from wind.
Ramez Naam covers the potential and challenges for next generation wind power.
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