Wind power accounts for about 10 percent of the electricity in the U.S., representing a remarkable growth spurt in recent years. Still, with the climate crisis looming overhead, the wind energy industry needs to grow even further, and faster, than ever before. Competition for land can pose hurdles, but wind industry innovators are coming up with solutions that open up new pathways for rapid growth.

TriplePundit last rounded up five wind energy trends to watch back in 2020. Much has happened over the past four years, and here are the trends we’re watching now.

  1. Repowering old wind farms
    Wind turbines typically have a lifespan of about 20 years. Assuming the land remains permitted for wind energy, the turbines can be replaced with new, more powerful models as they age out.
  2. Floating offshore wind turbines
    Offshore wind presents another opportunity to accelerate the wind energy industry. That’s easier said than done in the U.S, where offshore wind energy projects have already encountered opposition. In addition, two-thirds of the U.S. coastline is too deep for conventional offshore wind turbines.
  3. Vertical axis wind turbines at sea
    Vertical axis wind turbines represent another way to open up new opportunities for wind energy in the U.S. In contrast to the familiar long, tall, three-blade configuration of horizontal axis turbines, vertical axis turbines have a more compact, complicated shape.
  4. New territory for small wind energy turbines
    Small-sized wind turbines represent another untapped resource. Today, they are mainly used in rural and suburban areas, where land is available for the turbine towers at homes as well as farms and businesses.
  5. Harvesting slower wind speeds
    Regardless of their size or shape, wind turbines are rare in areas of U.S. where wind energy is uneconomical due to low wind speeds. That includes the Southeast, the Gulf Coast and parts of the East Coast.

Read the full article about wind energy trends by Tina Casey at Triple Pundit.