Wind Energy Facts
For a more journalistic, story-like overview of wind power, wind power costs, wind power growth, etc., head on over to our main wind power page.
For all the latest news on wind power, check out our wind power news channel.
But if you just want some straight facts on wind power, scroll through these (links are on the text for each one even though it doesn’t look like it):
Wind Power Capacity
- The #1 country for wind power capacity per capita is Denmark, followed by Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and Germany.
- The #1 country for wind power capacity per GDP is Portugal, followed by Spain, Denmark, Cape Verde, and Romania.
- Wind energy was the #1 source of new power capacity in the US in 2012. (Even more info here.)
- The US wind industry grew 28% in 2012, installing 45,100 wind turbines.
- China installed wind power capacity hit 72 GW in 2012, accounting for 35% of the world’s new onshore wind power capacity.
- New German wind energy capacity increased by 20% in 2012.
- When it comes to offshore wind power, the UK is king, with over 3 GW of installed offshore wind power capacity, over three times more than #2 Denmark.
- World wind power capacity reached 282.5 GW in 2012.
- World wind power capacity likely reached 300,000 MW in 2013.
- Wind power plants in Denmark produce over 30% of Denmark’s electricity consumption needs.
- Wind energy has surpassed nuclear as China’s 3rd-largest source of electrical power.
- Wind power plants in Spain produce about 25% of Spain’s electricity consumption needs (and it was the top source of electricity for three months in a row recently).
- Wind power plants in Iowa now generate about 25% of the state’s electricity.
- 54% of Spain’s electricity came from renewables, largely wind, in April 2013.
- Electricity generation from wind energy has grown faster than any other source in Texas in recent years.
Wind Energy Subsidies
- Wind power has received far less financial support from the US government than nuclear or fossil fuel power.
- The US Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy was extended at the beginning of 2013, but expires at the end of 2013.
Wind Energy Potential
Wind Energy Cost
- In the US, the minimum LCOE for onshore wind power is 3¢/kWh, while the maximum is 9¢/kWh and the median is 5¢/kWh — in other words, it is often the cheapest source of power available.
- In the US, the minimum LCOE for offshore wind power is 6¢/kWh, while the maximum is 18¢/kWh and the median is 8¢/kWh.
- In the US, the average selling price for wind power was 4¢/kWh in 2011–2012.
- The LCOE of wind power is falling.
- The installed cost of wind power is typically lower than that of coal power plants in OECD countries.
- The cost of wind turbines has fallen about 29% since 2008.
- Wind power is projected to save PJM customers $7 billion by 2020.
- The first US offshore wind turbine was launched in May 2013.
- Vestas & GE were the top wind turbine manufacturers (tied) in 2012, according to BNEF. GE was #1 according to B&M Navigant.
- The EU installed more than 1 offshore wind turbine per working day in 2012.
- The 1st hybrid wind/current-powered system was installed in 2013.
- Solar–wind hybrid power plants are seemingly twice as efficient.
- Wind farms kill roughly 0.27 birds per GWh, vs 0.6 birds per GWh killed by nuclear power plants (2.2x more than wind), and 9.4 birds per GWh killed by fossil-fueled power plants (34.8x more than wind).
- GE’s Brilliant wind turbines include energy storage.
Wind Energy Business News
- An Iowa Facebook datacenter is 100% powered by wind power.
- Google purchased Makani Wind Power in 2013.
- Warren Buffet has invested billions of dollars in wind power.
- Google has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in wind power plants.
Wind Farm Records
- The largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere opened in Australia in 2013.
- The world’s largest offshore wind farm was completed in the UK in 2013.
Also, here are some top wind power stories from the first half of 2013:
- Big Wind Power Storage Opp In US Northwest
- 7,000 MW Of US Wind Power In 2014?
- Wind Energy Production Hits All-Time High In California
- Texas Sets Another Peak Wind Power Production Record
- US Is World’s Largest Wind Power Market Again
- Siemens Opens World’s Largest R&D Test Center For Wind Turbine Tech
- New Blade Design = Longest Wind Turbine Blades Ever Built
- Renewable Energy Revolution: Declining Costs, Surging Capacity
- North America’s Largest Wind Energy Storage Facility Fires Up In Texas
- New Wind Energy Records Set On ERCOT And SPP Grids
- Barriers To Distributed Renewable Energy [Slideshow]
- Top 10 Wind Power Stories Of 2012