Over at Iowa State University there is a hybrid mixture of government and business working together to reduce the cost of Wind power. ISU’s Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory is the perfect example of the private and public sectors combining resources towards a common goal. The Department of Energy is partnering with TPI Composites on a $6.3 million research project to reduce the overall cost of wind turbines. The projects vision is to reduce the cost of constructing wind turbine blades by 35%. As one of the most expensive elements of turbines, a significant cost reduction to wind turbines blades greatly improves the cost effectiveness of wind energy.
Currently in the United States, wind energy is growing by leaps and bounds. In 2008, the US energy grid received over 55,363 kilowatt hours of electricity through wind power, by 2010 that number had almost doubled to 94,647 kilowatt hours. However, that growth has been subsidized through federal & state actions to reduce costs and risk. The current cost of building a new wind facility is still more expensive than conventional sources such as coal and natural gas, but with further joint government/private-sector R&D as seen in the Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory example, that gap can quickly close in short time span.