There are many cool innovations on the horizon for the next generation of wind power, but cutting edge technology takes a while to get to market.
Luckily, innovation isn't just limited to new turbines. In fact, as reported over at Clean Technica, GE has launched a major hardware and software upgrade program called PowerUp, an initiative that could see boosts of up to 5% in output for each turbine in the field.
The idea of PowerUp is to offer before and after analytics of a wind turbines performance, and then use both software upgrades and physical refinements of turbine hardware to optimize its performance for the specific location. Turbine owners and operators only pay based on actual improvements in performance, and already deals are being signed that should see hundreds of turbines getting a boost.
Here's a video from GE that explains a little more:
5% might not sound like a lot.
But in a world where renewables are increasingly competitive with fossil fuels, an upgrade like this to an existing wind installation could make a huge difference to profitability. And the profitability of existing wind farms will be a big factor in attracting investment for new capacity.
From better weather forecasting to the addition of battery storage, there are many technologies that can help us make clean energy more profitable. For anyone who has already invested in existing capacity based on yesterday's technologies, any upgrade has got to feel like icing on the cake.