U.S. Dept. of Energy reports on American wind energy growth

The U.S. is ranked second in installed wind energy capacity in the world with 61 GW of wind power capacity, which meets 4.5 percent of electricity demand in an average year.

Related Topics:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reported on Aug. 18 that the United States is ranked second in installed capacity in the world. With increasing wind energy generation and decreasing prices of wind energy technologies, the U.S. wind energy market remains strong and the U.S. is moving closer to doubling renewable electricity generation from energy resources like wind power yet again by 2020.

After modest growth in 2013, total installed wind power capacity in the United States now stands at 61 GW, which meets nearly 4.5 percent of electricity demand in an average year, according to the 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report, released on Aug. 18 by the Energy Department and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report also found that wind energy prices – particularly in the interior region of the United States–are at an all­time low, with utilities selecting wind as a cost-­saving option.

With utility­-scale turbines installed in more than 39 states and territories, DOE says that the industry has created more than $500 million in exports and supporting jobs related to development, siting, manufacturing, transportation and other industries.

“As a readily expandable, domestic source of clean, renewable energy, wind power is paving the way to a low­carbon future that protects our air and water while providing affordable, renewable electricity to American families and businesses,” says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “However, the continued success of the U.S. wind industry highlights the importance of policies like the Production Tax Credit that provide a solid framework for America to lead the world in clean energy innovation while also keeping wind manufacturing and jobs in the U.S.”

In total, U.S. turbines in distributed applications, which accounted for more than 80 percent of all wind turbines installed in the U.S. last year, reached a cumulative installed capacity of more than 842 MW — enough to power 120,000 average American homes — according to the 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report, also released by DOE and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This capacity is supplied by roughly 72,000 turbines across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fact, a total of 14 states, including Iowa, Nevada and California, among others, now each have more than 10 MW of distributed wind capacity.

For more information on these two new reports, visit www.energy.gov/windreport.