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Wind Energy Continues to Grow in the US

According to the Earth Policy Institute, the US now has 60,000 MW of wind generation capacity installed, the second most in the world behind China and enough to power 14 million American homes. In 2012 alone, 13,000 MW of wind capacity was built, the most of any year to date. This figure is likely to grow this year with the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), though after 2013 the PTC is set to expire and the wind industry could be in for blustery times.

Wind

Courtesy of the Earth Policy Institute

Wind energy is the most developed in Iowa and South Dakota where, in 2012, almost 25% of the energy generated in that state came from wind.  The wind energy industry in Texas has also been booming where installed capacity has grown by more than six-fold over the past 8 years. By the end of 2012, Texas had over 12,000 MW of installed capacity, an amount that is greater than all but four countries in the world.

As a nation, in 2012, only about 3.55% of our total electricity produced comes from wind, though this number rose from 2.9% the year prior. As old coal power plants continue to shutter, the role of wind energy should continue to grow as a source of clean and increasingly cheap electricity.

 

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