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Upgrading grid for wind pays off

An investment in the power grid to enable wind to supply 20% of the electricity needs of eastern USA could save consumers billions.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has welcomed results from the Joint Coordinated System Plan (JCSP) study concluding that an investment in the power grid to enable 20% wind would save consumers US$12 billion annually, recovering capital costs in as little as seven years while making the power grid more reliable.

The study also found that the need for new coal-fired, baseload power plants would be cut in half under the wind and transmission scenario. Moreover, the reliability of the power grid would be enhanced, reducing the likelihood of events such as blackouts.

Although the study did not calculate job creation or economic development benefits of the wind and transmission scenario, other studies like the Department of Energy’s (DoE) 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report have shown that obtaining 20% of the nation’s electricity from wind power would create over 500,000 jobs and generate US$80bn per year in economic activity.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power