As Congress advances legislation to invest $550 billion in national infrastructure projects, the specific priorities in each industry category remain undefined. For example, the proposed framework directs $65 billion to foster greater use of renewable energy sources within America’s power grid, but it doesn’t exactly define how that will happen.
“Wind is certainly well-positioned for expansion,” says Ronald Calhoun, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “The technology is mature and reliable. Plus, it’s highly cost effective. Actually, wind is market competitive even without financial incentives. So, there are good reasons for its further development.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy sources now represent 20% of the electricity generated in America. Within that sector, wind is the most significant source (8.4%), followed by hydropower (7.3%) and solar (2.3%). Additionally, wind energy continues to grow more substantially than any other renewable. Its share of that category is expected to exceed 10% this year as new facilities enter operation.