By Emily Williams
How much was installed in 2014?
In 2014, 4,854 megawatts (MW) were installed in the US – over four times more new wind energy than in 2013. There were about 2,500 turbines installed in 19 states – enough to power 1.4 million average American homes. However, the amount installed in 2014 still falls far short of what the industry was able to complete in 2012 when it had more long-term policy certainty. As American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan stated, “Wind is gaining strength, but as recent history shows, we can do a whole lot more.”
The top states for added capacity in 2014 were Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Washington, and Colorado.
What does that bring the total capacity of wind power to?
The new installations bring the total amount of wind power installed in the US to 65,879 MW, or over 48,000 turbines. That is enough to power about 18 million average American homes and enough displaced fossil generation to avoid the carbon pollution of over 28 million cars.
Looking forward, how much is under construction?
As of the end of 2014, over 12,700 MW were under construction, enough to power about 3.7 million average American homes. Twenty-three states have construction activity ongoing. Texas has more capacity under construction than is installed in any other state.
Congress recently let the primary federal incentive for wind power, the Production Tax Credit, expire. Since 2008, over $100 billion in private investment has flowed into the U.S. thanks in large part to that incentive for homegrown energy. AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan stated “Congress must find a way forward [on extending the Production Tax Credit] so we don’t lose years of investment and send this promising industry over another cliff.”
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