Wind Energy  

The U.S. wind industry broke all previous records by installing nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity in the calendar year 2009 (enough to serve over 2.4 million homes). These new projects place wind power neck and neck with natural gas as the leading source of new electricity generation in the U.S. Together, the two sources account for about 80% of the new capacity added in the year. The total wind power capacity now operating in the U.S. is over 35,600 MW, generating enough to power the equivalent of 9.7 million homes. America's wind power fleet will avoid an estimated 62 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking 10.5 million cars off the road, and will conserve approximately 20 billion gallons of water annually, which would otherwise be consumed for steam or cooling in conventional power plants.

A combination of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and federal incentives fueled much of the record-breaking growth over this period. As of the first quarter of 2010, 30 US states plus the District of Columbia adopted binding renewable energy mandates. Five additional states adopted non-binding renewable energy goals. Eligible technologies, incremental targets, enforcement mechanisms, and ultimate production levels vary widely by state and are often a product of each state's own power generation mix, political leanings, economic base, and resource potential.

Click on the following links to view additional information on wind energy:

Wind Energy Timeline Wind Energy Timeline
History of Wind Power History of Wind Power
How Wind Power Works How Wind Power Works videoicon
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