U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Blades of Glory: Wind Technology Bringing Us Closer To a Clean Energy Future
July 19, 2012
There’s a simple truth in wind energy -- the bigger the blade, the more watts generated.
In the 1980s, blades were typically 65 feet long. Today, as the wind industry continues to grow, blades measure over 150 feet. Looking down the road, the next generation of wind turbine blades is expected to span beyond the length of a football field.
In the United States, energy generation from wind turbines has grown by 27 percent over the last year, with production facilities now in more than 40 states. We want to make sure the best, most efficient wind energy technologies are developed and manufactured here in America.
To that end, over the past four years, the Energy Department has made significant investments in our nation’s wind turbine testing capabilities. As we like to say in the industry, any new wind turbine technology is only as good as the tests it undergoes. By supporting the testing and validation of newly developed technologies, we are working to reduce costs for manufacturers, speed deployment of next generation technologies into the marketplace, and promote the growth of American companies. Our testing facilities are also attracting companies from around the world to come and design, manufacture and test their blades in the United States, creating jobs here.