Published on May 3rd, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
US Wind Accounts For 8% Of Operating Generating Capacity In 2016, Says EIA
May 3rd, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
New figures from the US Energy Information Administration show that wind energy accounted for 8% of the operating electric generating capacity in the United States during 2016.
Overall, wind turbines have contributed more than a third of all the nearly 200 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electricity generating capacity since 2007, reflecting what the Energy Information Administration (EIA) believes is “a combination of improved wind turbine technology, increased access to transmission capacity, state-level renewable portfolio standards, and federal production tax credits and grants.”
The figures come at the same time that the American Wind Energy Association announced that a total of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity was installed in the first quarter of 2017. These figures actually digress somewhat from figures also published this week by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which showed only 1,479 MW of new wind capacity was installed, though where the discrepancy lies is uncertain.
While there is a lot of wind energy going up in the US, more than half of all capacity is currently located in only five states — Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Kansas. In fact, in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, wind energy makes up at least 25% of in-state utility-scale generating capacity.
Of course, Texas is the big winner, with almost a quarter of all US wind energy capacity. Wind generated electricity made up 13% of Texas’ total electricity output in 2016, and can provide a much larger share during periods of high wind intensity. For example, early on March 23 of this year, wind output for the ERCOT grid in Texas accounted for 50% of the electricity generation mix, the highest wind penetration level seen in the ERCOT system to date.