Wind Energy Top Source Of Clean Power, Says AWEA
Wind power has taken the lead over hydropower drams to become the No. 1 source of renewable electric capacity in the U.S., according to a Feb. 9 report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
New growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 includes 6,478 megawatts—the second strongest quarter for U.S. wind power installations on record. At the end of 2016, wind energy totaled 82,000 megawatts—which could power 24 million homes.
American wind power will likely double its output over the next five years, and supply 10% of the nation’s electricity by 2020. There are more than 52,000 individual wind turbines in 41 U.S. states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico. Wind is the fourth largest source of generating capacity—behind gas, coal, and nuclear.
More than 25,000 Americans work in the wind industry, and more than 100,000 American workers maintain the U.S. wind fleet. Wind accounts for more jobs than nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants.
Non-utility purchasers of wind energy include the Department of Defense, Microsoft, and General Motors (GM)—roughly 40 percent of wind bought through long-term contracts last year. GM, which uses wind energy in half of its production, buys wind energy from two wind farms in Texas—where the highest capacity of the nation’s wind energy is located.
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