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Clean Power awea wind power facts

Published on April 15th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Wind Energy Facts from AWEA 2011 Annual Market Report



 
awea wind power facts

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its 2012 annual market report on wind energy at the end of last week. For a succinct look at some of the industry’s key stats and facts, here’s a bullet-point list of them I’ve put together for you (more wind power lists at the bottom of this post):

  • 5 states now get over 10% of their electricity from wind power (South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wyoming).
  • South Dakota has over 20% of its electricity coming from wind.
  • Iowa has over 15% of its electricity coming from wind.
  • 7 states have at least 4,000 wind jobs (Iowa, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, California and Michigan).
  • 75,000 wind jobs have been created in the U.S., 30,000 in the manufacturing sector.
  • Kansas has the most wind power under construction.
  • Only 5 countries (including the U.S.) have more wind power installed than Texas.
  • In the past 5 years, wind power projects and manufacturing (and supportive wind power policies) have brought in as much as $20 billion annually in private investment in the U.S.
  • 35% of all new U.S. power capacity in the past 5 years has been from wind power.
  • A typical U.S. wind turbine now generates 30% more electricity than a typical wind turbine 5 years ago.
  • Nearly 500 new American manufacturing facilities have been built in the past 5 years.
  • 6,816 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity were installed in 2011, 31 percent higher than 2010.
  • There are now 46,916 MW of wind power capacity installed in the U.S.
  • There are more than 8,300 MW of wind power capacity under construction.

Why the big focus on the past 5 years above? Because there has been stable, bipartisan policy support for wind power for the past 5 years. Unfortunately, that support is now under threat.

“This shows what wind power is capable of: building new projects, powering local economies and creating jobs,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Traditional tax incentives are working. This tremendous activity is being driven by the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) – which leverages as much as $20 billion a year in private investment and supports tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

“But we will lose all these consumer benefits and a brand new, growing manufacturing sector if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire. Businesses need certainty. That is why it is urgent that Congress extend the PTC now, or risk losing a bright new manufacturing sector.”

One report we’ve mentioned several times now, by Navigant Consulting, found that wind power jobs in the U.S. would be cut approximately in half if the PTC is not extended, costing the U.S. approximately 37,000 good jobs. One third of those jobs would be in manufacturing. In fact, we’re already losing jobs due to the polciy uncertainty.

On the other hand, “extending the PTC will allow the wind industry to grow to almost 100,000 American jobs in just four years and stay on track toward supporting 500,000 American jobs by 2030,” AWEA notes.

Here’s some more info on progress to extend the PTC:

A House bill seeking to extend the existing Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy (H.R. 3307, the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act”) has garnered the support of 90 cosponsors including 20 Republicans. Extension legislation was introduced in the Senate on March 15 by seven Senators including three Republicans.

PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad, coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, the Western Governors’ Association, the United Steelworkers and many members of the environmental community. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition comprised of 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.

Now, for those of you who have stuck through the important policy segment, here are some more fun lists for you:

Top 10 states for wind jobs (of all types):

  1. Iowa: 6-7 K
  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 13 states for wind generation as a percentage of their portfolio:

  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 10 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

For more information, check out AWEA’s news release on the report or the report itself.

Image Credit: AWEA

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • SolWill

    Thanks Zach! The other thing that will be interesting is how responses change to commercial scale wind, particularly along the coasts. NIMBY (Not in my backyard) still seems to be a big risk factor for developers.

    Great to see a sun powered source’s growth in a really defined way. For more info on solar check out beta.divyaenergy.com

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, I think it’s a shame that NIMBYism has even hit wind — i love the look of wind turbines. But it is causing some troubles.

      • SolWill

        The challenge is that engaging the community takes time & effort. Many times it seems like developers set up the financials so that the project is profitable, yet at the same time forget/don’t have the resources to engage the community.

        Also, it seems easier to advocate for the status quo rather than change haha

        • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

          True, true.

  • lukealization

    I always love the annual summary reports from the national/international wind energy associations… it really demonstrates the continuing advancement of green energy well.

    Apart from the overall fantastic progress the green energy sector has made, two metrics surprised me…

    1) “35% of all new U.S. power capacity in the past 5 years has been from wind power.”

    I would’ve though that would’ve been higher, somewhere around 50%. I suppose that the recent boom in natural gas installations depressed that figure?

    And 2) “A typical U.S. wind turbine now generates 30% more electricity than a typical wind turbine 5 years ago.”

    I wonder if this is due to an increase in efficiencies with the design of the turbine, or simply due to an increase in size???

    Another fantastic article Zachary…

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