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By Samuel R. Avro on Apr 2, 2012 with 4 responses

Wind Power Continues Trend of Rapid Growth in U.S.

Generation from wind turbines in the United States increased 27% in 2011 from the prior year, and is up 350% since 2006.

“During the past five years capacity additions of wind turbines were the main driver of the growth in wind power output,” the U.S. Department of Energy reported. “As the amount of wind generation increases, electric power system operators have faced challenges with integrating increasing amounts of this intermittent generation source into their systems.”

Wind is currently the largest source of non-hydro renewable electricity in the U.S.

As the amount of wind generation increases, operators have faced challenges integrating the increasing amounts of this intermittent generation source into their systems.

“Wind energy is the largest source of non-hydroelectric renewable electricity in the United States, contributing 61% of the nearly 200 terawatthours of non-hydroelectric renewable generation in 2011,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

However, wind power still only accounted for less than 3% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2011.

For more on U.S. electricity generation, see: How Much Can Renewables Bite Out of the Coal Pie?

  1. By Doug CARD on April 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    It should continue to grow at this pace for about 5 more years.  By that time I hope we have much better storage available and it could grow much faster.  Same for PV, only even faster since resi could add more to the equation.  What percentage of rural homes would like to go off-grid?  20% would be at least a few million at 2 to 8 kW each.  How many farms would go combo wind/solar at 10 to 20+ kW total ea.?

  2. By ben on April 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    The trend will be steady given projects in the pipeline and impetus from $100-plus crude.   Ng may pose funding alternatives for those looking to pick low-hanging fruit, but the green wave keeps building and will be washing far inland before the decade is out.   The storage challenge is enjoying good progress via some federally-funded R&D with a few very competent groups.  Those results will be out and fueling significant commercializiation within the next 12-24 months.  

    Let’s keep the ball moving down the field by encouraging the transition to renewables even as we avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater:)





  3. By mac on April 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    When wind resources are are spread out over a broad geographical area, linked to existing grids, the so called wind problem “tends to disappear”

  4. By mac on April 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Here are  some stats  from AWEA, the American Wind Energy Ass0iciation ( a  wind lobby)


    Top 10 states for overall wind jobs:


    1.      Iowa: 6,000-7,000

    2.      Texas: 6-7 K

    3.      Illinois: 6-7 K

    4.      Ohio: 5-6 K

    5.      Colorado: 4-5K

    6.      California: 4-5K

    7.      Michigan: 4-5K

    8.      Pennsylvania: 3-4K

    9.      Florida: 2-3K

    10.    Oregon: 2-3K


    Top states for wind generation as a percentage of their portfolio (Records: five states received more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind in 2011 and 13 received more than 5 percent)


    1.    South Dakota: 22.3%

    2.      Iowa: 18.8%

    3.      North Dakota: 14.7%

    4.      Minnesota: 12.7%

    5.      Wyoming: 10.1%

    6.      Colorado: 9.2%

    7.      Kansas: 8.3%

    8.      Oregon: 8.2%

    9.      Idaho: 8.2%

    10.    Oklahoma: 7.1%

    11.    Texas: 6.9% (8.5% on ERCOT)

    12.    New Mexico: 5.4%

    13.    Washington: 5.3% 


    Top ten states for wind projects under construction in 2012:


    1.    Kansas: 1,189 MW

    2.    Texas: 857 MW

    3.    California: 847 MW

    4.    Oregon: 640 MW

    5.    Illinois: 615 MW

    6.    Pennsylvania: 520 MW

    7.    Iowa: 470 MW

    8.    Oklahoma: 393 MW

    9.    Michigan: 348 MW

    10.  Washington: 331 MW


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