By simply building new wind farms, the US wind industry has contributed $128 billion into the US economy over the last 10 years.
New figures published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) this week revealed that building new wind farms in the US has not only contributed $128 billion to the US economy over the past 10 years, but has served to add an average of $13 billion each year for the past five years.
“By building new wind farms across the country over the past decade, wind companies have invested $128 billion into the US economy,” said Tom Kiernan CEO of AWEA. “Over this time, wind has rapidly scaled-up. There’s now enough wind power installed to reliably produce electricity for over 19 million American homes. Continuing to invest in world-class wind resources here at home will help keep our lights on, grow state economies, and keep more money in the pockets of homeowners and businesses.”
The AWEA has had a bumper few weeks, reporting on numerous highlights for the US wind industry.
The AWEA revealed this week that the US again broke more monthly wind generation records, “From the ERCOT grid in Texas north to the MISO grid in the Midwest.” Earlier this month, it was revealed that the US wind energy industry installed more electric generating capacity in 2015 than any other electricity source. In total, 2015 saw 8,598 MW installed, translating to investment worth $14.7 billion, a 73% increase over 2014 numbers, and a more than seven-fold increase over 2013 investment figures.
Furthermore, the recent boom-bust cycle of investment in the US wind industry is likely to be smoothed out by the recent decision by the US Congress to grant a five-year extension to the wind Production Tax Credit.
“The rapid rise of wind energy in the U.S. is clearly benefiting state economies,” said John Hensley, Manager of Industry Data & Analysis for AWEA. “This American success story will continue in 2016 and beyond as there’s an additional 9.4 gigawatts of wind under construction now, on top of 4.9 GW in advanced stages of development.”
State economies across the country are reaping the benefits of a renewed US wind industry. Texas currently leads all states in terms of cumulative project investment, with $32 billion injected into its economy, followed by California with $11.9 billion, Iowa with $11.8 billion, Oklahoma with $9.6 billion, and Illinois with $7.7 billion.
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