US Wind Industry Continues Steady Growth In Third Quarter

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

The United States’ wind industry has continued its steady growth in the third quarter of 2016, installing 895 MW of new capacity, bringing year-to-date installations up to just over 1.7 GW.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) published its US Wind Industry Third Quarter 2016 Market Report this week, revealing that new capacity installations in the third quarter reached 895 MW. This brings the country’s cumulative wind energy capacity up to nearly 76 GW. This follows the steady growth seen already this year, with 520 MW of new capacity added in the first quarter, followed by 310 MW in the second quarter.

US Wind Power Capacity Installations, by Quarter


As can be seen in the graph above, the US wind industry is used to quiet installation figures through the first three quarters of a year, though in recent years the driving factor behind the fourth quarter spikes has been the perceived need to finish construction before the end of the year to qualify for government tax credits.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype put forth by the American Wind Energy Association. Its press release accompanying this quarter’s Market Report is all about the current pipeline of projects under construction or in advanced development, which currently sits at over 20 GW. It’s an impressive number, but looking back over the year shows that that number has only grown marginally — it sat at 15 GW in the first quarter, and 18 GW in the second quarter, and as can be seen, there appears to be more projects approved than completed.

More specifically, the third quarter’s 20 GW pipeline is made up of 13.5 GW under construction and 6.7 GW in advanced development. This compares to 12.4 GW under construction in the second quarter, and 3 GW advanced development. This itself was up from 10 GW under construction in the year’s first quarter, and 5.1 GW in advanced development. So there is growth and movement, but the country needs greater policy and investment support to really drive the country’s wind industry forward at the same rate being seen in Europe and Asia.

Looking back further, there is a steady growth in the US wind energy sector, which has definitely benefited from increased policy support over the last 8 years (not including 2013).

US Annual and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity Growth

awea-2America’s wind industry has definitely had hard road over the last few years, having to fight tooth and nail for the extension to its valuable Production Tax Credit, but maybe it’s not yet time to break out the champagne again.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill