This groundbreaking report was prepared by the US Department of Energy over a number of years, during the George W Bush administration and released in July 2008.
It explores one scenario for reaching 20 percent wind electricity by 2030 and contrasts it to a scenario in which no new U.S. wind power capacity is installed. It examines costs, major impacts and challenges associated with the 20 percent Wind Scenario. It investigates requirements and outcomes in the areas of technology, manufacturing, transmission and integration, markets, environment and siting.
The report finds that the U.S. possesses affordable wind energy resources far in excess of those needed to enable a 20 percent scenario.
The report finds that to implement the 20 percent Wind Scenario, new wind power installations would need to increase to more than 16,000 megawatts (MW) per year by 2018, and continue at that rate through 2030. To put that in context 13,000 MW of new wind were installed in 2012.
The report projects that wind plant costs and performance will improve modestly over the next two decades. To put that in context - wind turbine costs dropped by 43 percent from 2009 to 2013.
If finds that no technological breakthroughs are needed to achieve the 20 percent scenario.
The Department of Energy has done a fantastic job of making this report extremely informative and easy to understand: it is well worth a read.