An overview of the current status of wind energy technology and system development is presented with major emphasis placed on the key issues which face the commercialization of wind technology. The basic fundamentals of the technology are reviewed and the direction of current development is outlined. Economic considerations are discussed both from a machine development point of view and the utility-industry cost-of-service approach. In addition, the problems associated with wind turbine performance testing are discussed and a short review of operational experience is provided. These topics are all considered in the context of providing the reader with an understanding of wind system technology, a general knowledge of current problems, and the expected trends for the future. Many of these important issues are still under intensive investigation, and in some cases, a clearly superior solution has not emerged. In these circumstances, the value judgments are properly left to the reader.

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