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Renewable Energy Resource
Maps >> North America
Wind Energy Potential in NORTH AMERICA
Map of mean 80-m wind speeds for year 2000
Wind speeds are calculated at 80 m, the hub height
of modern, 77-m diameter, 1500 kW turbines. Since
relatively few observations are available at 80
m, the Least Square extrapolation technique is utilized
and revised here to obtain estimates of wind speeds
at 80 m given observed wind speeds at 10 m (widely
available) and a network of sounding stations.
Tower data from the Kennedy Space Center (Florida)
were used to validate the results. Globally, ~13%
of all reporting stations experience annual mean
wind speeds ≥ 6.9 m/s at 80 m (i.e., wind
power class 3 or greater) and can therefore be considered
suitable for low-cost wind power generation. This
estimate is believed to be conservative.
Of all continents, North America has the largest
number of stations in class 3 (453).
Availability of standardized evaluations
of the wind energy potential
Wind energy potential can not easily be shown in
simple overwiew maps. The map indicates the countries
for which wind energy evaluations are available.
These have been carried out by means of a standardized
method developped by the danish Risø Laboratory.
| Greenland | United
States of America
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