US boasts record wind power highs, leading to more American jobs

Clare Saxon Ghauri
7 August 2013

NEW YORK: The US Energy Department has published two reports detailing record highs for US wind power production and manufacturing, demonstrating the importance of clean energy in providing stable power and jobs for Americans.

Wind energy became the biggest source of new US electricity generation capacity for the first time in 2012, accounting for US$25 billion in US investment, according to the Department’s research.

World-leading market

The reports both chart how the US is still one of the world’s leading wind markets, with overall growth in the industry directly leading to more American jobs across the country.

The Wind Technologies Market Report details latest trends in the US wind power market, including:

  • over 13 gigawatts of new wind power capacity were added to the grid last year, which is almost double the wind capacity that was deployed in 2011, with total wind power capacity topping 60 gigawatts at the end of 2012
  • cumulative installed wind energy capacity has grown more than 22-fold since 2000
  • nearly 72% of the wind turbine equipment installed in the US last year was made by domestic manufacturers, nearly tripling from 25% in 2006-2007
  • on a cumulative basis Texas remains the leading US state, boasting over 12 gigawatts installed at the end of 2012 -- more than twice as much as California, the second-highest state -- with nine states now relying on wind power for more than 12% of their total annual electricity consumption.

Local American grids

The second report, Distributed Wind Market Report covers growth in America’s distributed wind energy market – installations that directly supply power to local grids near homes, farms, businesses and communities. Key findings from this report include:

  • distributed wind reached a 10-year cumulative installed capacity of more than 812 megawatts at the end of 2012
  • between 2011 and 2012, distributed wind capacity grew by 175 megawatts
  • Iowa, Massachusetts, California and Wisconsin are the states that are leading the nation in new distributed wind power capacity in 2012.

US leadership

Ernest Moniz, Energy Secretary, commented on the two reports' findings: “The tremendous growth in the US wind industry over the past few years underscores the importance of consistent policy that ensures America remains a leader in clean energy innovation."

He added: "As the fastest growing source of power in the United States, wind is paving the way to a cleaner, more sustainable future that protects our air and water and provides affordable, clean renewable energy to more and more Americans.”

President Obama shared the Administration’s commitment to growing clean energy in his Climate Action Plan in June, and has announced a commitment to double renewable electricity generation by 2020

Read our report: American Clean Revolution: Why the US should play to win on the clean economy

Related news:

US President Obama: "A low carbon, clean energy economy can be an engine of growth for decades to come"

America has record year for renewables, with California ranked top clean tech state

Record wind capacity added worldwide in 2012, led by Asia


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