The US wind industry installed a record amount of wind capacity in 2012, providing enough clean, affordable energy to power the equivalent of almost 15 million homes. The surge in wind capacity was lead by the states of Texas and California.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the US installed a new record of over 13,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity in 2012. The figure beats 2011’s total of 10,000 MW, a year which was dominated by China.
The installations leveraged US$25 billion in private investment and over 60,000 megawatts of cumulative wind capacity, which is enough to power the equivalent of all homes in the American states of Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio combined.
Wind energy now provides over 40% of all new generating capacity in America. This is the first time wind has become the nation’s top source of new US electric generating capacity, AWEA said.
The installed power will avoid 95.9 million metric tons of emissions a year, which is around 1.8% of total emissions.
Rob Gramlich, Interim CEO, AWEA said: “It is a real testament to American innovation and hard work that for the first time ever a renewable energy source was number one in new capacity. We are thrilled to mark this major milestone in the nation’s progress toward a cleaner energy system.”
He added: “The fact that wind power grew by another 28% in 2012 alone and poured $25 billion of private investment into the US last year demonstrates wind’s ability to scale up, and continue to serve as a leading source of energy in America.”
The total capacity comes from 190 projects across 32 US states, as well as Puerto Rico. The top states for new capacity installations in 2012 were:
1. Texas – 1,826 MW
2. California – 1,656 MW
3. Kansas – 1,440 MW
4. Oklahoma – 1,127 MW
5. Illinois – 823 MW
6. Iowa – 814 MW
7. Oregon – 640 MW
8. Michigan – 611 MW
9. Pennsylvania – 550 MW
10. Colorado – 496 MW
Amy Davidsen, US Director, The Climate Group said: “These latest figures show that a strongly supported US wind industry bolsters our economy, generates jobs and will secure a prosperous future for America.
“Despite a considerable amount of policy uncertainty, the US wind power sector proved to be remarkably resilient in 2012, reaching a record level of installations while global wind investment fell 13%. But for the sector to continue to continue to grow, we must provide a more stable investment climate through clear, long-term policy signals.”
Source: The Climate Group
For more information on: The Climate Group