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US Wind Energy Tops New Electric Capacity In 2015

The US wind energy industry installed more electric generating capacity in 2015 than any other electricity source.

The news comes via the American Wind Energy Association, the country’s wind energy trade body, which revealed that the US installed 8.6 GW of new wind energy capacity in 2015, accounting for 35% of all new generating capacity, surpassing the 7.3 GW worth of new solar PV installed and the 6 GW installed by natural gas. The figures themselves come by way of the 2016 Factbook published by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy and Finance (BNEF).

“Wind’s growth is being propelled by cost reductions of two-thirds over the last six years, which now makes wind the lowest-cost source of new generation,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), at the annual winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), in the Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC.

“It’s one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways we can reduce US carbon emissions, and the low-cost solution for power sector reductions. Utilities and other purchasers are turning to wind energy also because it provides stably-priced energy with no fuel price risk, and protects consumers by creating a more diverse energy portfolio.”

The AWEA also believes that the wind energy industry in the US is going to continue its trend of strong growth in 2016, with 9.4 GW currently under construction and an additional 4.9 GW in advanced stages of development. This growth will also be boosted by the renewal of the US Production Tax Credit, which was renewed by Congress late 2015.

“With long-term policy certainty in place, wind power is ready to keep this American success story going,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy and current AWEA Board Chair. “Further investments in our technology will enable utilities to cut costs and pass on the savings to American homeowners and businesses.”

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