Wind Power Generation Will Play A Major Role In Future Electric Generation Capacity

16 Sep, 2019

The global power generation market, valued at around $1,300 billion in 2018, is segmented by type of energy source into biomass electric power generation, hydroelectric power generation, solar electric power generation, wind electric power generation, nuclear electric power generation, fossil fuel electric power generation, geothermal electric power generation, and other electric power generation. Out of these, though fossil fuel electric power generation was the largest segment in 2018 accounting for 70% of the total market share, the solar and wind electric power generation segments will be the fastest growing to 2022. Solar electric power generation is expected to grow the fastest at an annual growth rate of 9.5%, followed by wind electric power generation at 7%, during 2018-2022.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted a survey on the US electric power sector, to gather information on new capacity additions and retirements in 2019. Wind is the major utility-scale capacity addition, which is about 46% of the total capacity additions. Natural gas is the second major capacity addition, which accounts for 34% of the total. The other capacity additions are from solar photovoltaics (18%), and the remaining 2% consists of other renewables and battery storage capacity.

The growth of wind power comes in light of scheduled capacity retirements, which primarily consist of coal, which is about 53% of the total capacity retirement, followed by natural gas (27%), nuclear (18%), and the remaining 2% is from other renewable and petroleum capacity.

The wind electric power generation industry includes establishments engaged in producing electricity by using wind turbines. The wind energy is converted to electric power through the rotation of the blades of a rotor (between 10 and 25 rpm), producing kinetic energy, which in turn drives a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electricity. The electricity produced is then supplied to electric power transmission systems, which are used to move large quantities of power from generating facilities to substations, and to distribution systems, which are used for short distances to transport electricity to customers locally. This market includes revenues generated from both offshore and onshore wind turbines.

Companies in the power generation industry are using hybrid wind-hydro power generation systems to improve the electricity generation outputs. Hybrid wind-hydro power generation systems generate electricity by combining wind turbines and pumped storage. Using these systems, electric power from wind energy is generated around the clock and electric power from water movement is generated when the water flows down from the reservoirs. When there is surplus energy, the additional water is pumped up to the reservoirs, acting as a large-scale battery. Due to the simultaneous work of wind turbines and hydro turbines, there is a continuous supply of electricity from the plant. In 2017, Max Boegl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy collaborated on the first wind farm with an integrated hydropower plant project, which became operational in 2018.