Wind Energy Research at the Solar Energy Research Institute

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    As world interest in wind energy research and development (R&D) emerged in the mid- 1970s, the path to the commercialization of wind power seemed clear, straightforward, and relatively short. In the United States, a fledgling industry foresaw small, 10-kW wind machines spinning in suburban and rural backyards, providing a fully dispersed new power source that would provide low-cost electricity tothousands of Americans. The U.S. government envisioned an equal number of large, utility-owned, multi megawatt wind turbines turning majestically in far-spaced rows across the Great American Plains to supplement existing coal-fired, oil, hydroelectric, and nuclear plants. Typically, both of these visions have proven to be inaccurate, at least so far; what we have in the United States are closelyspaced rows of privately owned, intermediate-sized wind turbines (numbering more than 17,000), primarily on the coastal hills and inland plains of California. Unfortunately, today the situation is clouded by the large number of poorly designed wind turbines (both U.S. and foreign) still standing in some California wind farms. Many of these machines are gradually being upgraded by theiroperators, and the outlook is brightening. However, the road to full commercialization has not proven to be as short - nor as easy - as previously thought.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 1988

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-217-3367


    • turbines
    • wind
    • wind energy


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