Power System Modeling of 20percent Wind-Generated Electricity by 2030 Page: 3 of 11
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Power System Modeling of 20% Wind-
Generated Electricity by 2030
Maureen Hand', Nate Blair, Mark Bolinger2, Ryan Wiser,
Richard O'Connell3, Tracy Hern4, Bart Miller
Abstract-The Wind Energy Deployment System model was
used to estimate the costs and benefits associated with producing
20% of the nation's electricity from wind technology by 2030.
This generation capacity expansion model selects from electricity
generation technologies that include pulverized coal plants,
combined cycle natural gas plants, combustion turbine natural
gas plants, nuclear plants, and wind technology to meet projected
demand in future years. Technology cost and performance
projections, as well as transmission operation and expansion
costs, are assumed. This study demonstrates that producing 20%
of the nation's projected electricity demand in 2030 from wind
technology is technically feasible, not cost-prohibitive, and
provides benefits in the forms of carbon emission reductions,
natural gas price reductions, and water savings.
Index Terms-power system modeling, wind energy
Generating electricity from wind technology has several
advantages over conventional generation technologies. It helps
avoid emissions of heavy metals and chemical precursors to
acid rain, and of greenhouse gases that contribute to global
climate change. It reduces the risk of fossil-fuel price
fluctuations, and avoids electricity-sector water consumption.
At the same time, wind resources are often in remote areas that
require transmission investment, and the variability of wind
electricity must be managed by electricity grids. Though wind
reduces fossil-fuel usage, the investment cost of wind projects
sometimes exceeds that of conventional fossil plants. This
paper analyzes the technical feasibility, impacts, costs, and
benefits of supplying 20% of the nation's electricity supply
from wind technology by 2030. Though it does not explore the
potential policy incentives that would be needed to achieve
high levels of wind penetration in the U.S., it does intend to
inform such discussions with credible analysis of the
potentiaql costs and benefits of such policies.
1 M. Hand and N. Blair are with the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA (e-mail: Maureen firstname.lastname@example.org;
2 M. Bolinger and R. Wiser are with the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA (e-mail: MABolinger@lbl.gov;
R. O'Connell is with Black & Veatch, San Francisco, CA, USA (e-mail:
4 T. Hem and B. Miller are with the Western Resources Advocates,
Boulder, CO, USA (e-mail: Tracy@westernresources.org;
This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under
contract DE-AC36-99-GO10337 and contract DE-AC02-05CH11231.
140 ci.m eis
Fig. I. Supply curve for wind energy: energy costs including connection to 10%
of existing transmission grid capacity within 500 miles of wind resource and
excluding the Production Tax Credit.
The United States possesses ample wind resources,
technically more than 8,000 GW, that could be harnessed to
produce electricity at reasonable cost, if transmission
expenditures are excluded. Considering some elements of the
transmission required to access these resources, a supply curve
that shows the relationship between wind power class and cost
is shown in Fig. 1. It includes the cost of accessing the current
transmission system and shows that more than 600 GW of
potential wind capacity is available for $60 to $100/MWh. The
data used to develop this supply curve is an input to the Wind
Energy Deployment System (WinDS) model.
The WinDS model was developed by the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and simulates
electricity generation capacity expansion . Numerous
assumptions about the future cost and performance of
conventional generation technology, as well as wind
technology, transmission system operation and expansion, and
future fuel prices, were developed by a broad group of wind
industry stakeholders, including Black & Veatch  and using
a variety of sources including the Annual Energy Outlook .
WinDS is a multi-regional, multi-time period, geographic
information system (GIS) and linear programming model of
electricity capacity expansion in the continental U.S.
wholesale market. Generation capacity expansion is selected to
achieve a cost-optimal generation mix over a 20-year planning
horizon for each 2-year period from 2000 to 2050. For this
study, however, all simulations were concluded at 2030.
Quantity Availlit*, GWY
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Bolinger, Mark A; Hand, Maureen; Blair, Nate; Bolinger, Mark; Wiser, Ryan; Hern, Tracy et al. Power System Modeling of 20percent Wind-Generated Electricity by 2030, article, June 9, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc900148/m1/3/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.