AWS TrueWind has completed the first high-resolution wind map for the United States. This is more than a graphic arts story because, in a variation of “if a tree falls in the forest”, if wind energy isn’t measured, it isn’t captured. In fact, for years states like Illinois, where I live, were ignored because available wind maps showed that it had only Class 2 winds — not strong enough winds to attract big investors.
This is one key reason why Illinois, my home state, came late to the table in wind energy development behind Texas, which ranks first among the fifty states. (Another big reason why Texas is first is because it had already created a statewide, uniform system of taxing oil production, which was easily transferred to the wind industry; but that’s another topic for another blog post.) The AWS Truewind map covers a land area of over 9 million square kilometers, and is sure to be an asset for companies and entrepreneurs wishing to identify and develop wind energy.
“With more than an order of magnitude growth potential and an expansion in wind capacity of 45% in 2007 alone (16,818 MW installed currently), the US represents one of the largest markets for wind energy development worldwide.… being the first developer on the ground at an attractive site prospect is mission critical for many.”
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