US wind industry passes 50GW milestone

Clare Saxon Ghauri
14 August 2012

NEW YORK: The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced that the United States’ wind industry now produces enough energy to power 13 million homes, after passing an installed capacity milestone of 50 gigawatts.

Denise Bode, CEO, AWEA, made the announcement at the yearly National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week, stating that the 50 gigawatts was the equivalent in emission reductions of taking 14 million cars off the road, or the combined energy equivalent of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin.

AWEA said that including the 2.8GW of capacity added this year alone, total wind energy capacity in the US has doubled since 2008.

The latest boost in wind power has partly due to the deluge of new wind farms across the nation. AWEA reported that more than 10,000 megawatts of wind farms were under construction at the second quarter's end, which is an all-time record.

During this period, 100 megawatts were under construction in 21 states – lead by Texas, Kansas, California, Oklahoma and Iowa.

Amy Davidsen, Executive Director US, The Climate Group said: "The wind industry in this country has been a real success story, with the US attracting the second most wind energy investment in the world last year, and the cost of wind energy headed for an all time low this year. With wind power now so close to reaching cost-competitiveness with fossil fuels, the Government should act to make sure that this breakthrough is achieved – providing Americans with a clean, domestic, low-cost source of electric power.”

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