Friday, August 5, 2011

US Wind Power Booming in 2011

The US wind industry added another 2,151 megawatts of new generation in the first half of 2011, a 72% increase over 2010, as reported by the American Wind Energy Association ( AWEA states that another 7,354 megawatts of new wind is under construction around America.

Among other things, these numbers destroy the fashionable, false argument that the natural gas boom killed new renewable energy projects. Gas and wind are both booming, because they have key economic strengths, are cleaner, and so are much easier to build than coal or nuclear plants. In fact since 2007 more than twice as much wind has been built as the combined amount of new coal and nuclear plants.

Currently in the US, 42,432 megawatts of wind is operating, and the 50,000 megawatt milestone will be passed within 12 months. Wind accounts for 35% of all new generation capacity built in the USA since 2007.

Awea reports that Iowa got 20% of its total electricity from wind from January through March. Texas now gets 8% of it's total electricity from wind, and it needs more.

The top states for wind energy are Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, and Oregon. Next week Everpower will do the ribbon cutting on Pennsylvania's newest wind farm, as wind power is becoming an important part of US electricity production.


  1. Aside from being enamored of 'Wind Farms' and knowing it is an amazing thing to harness wind power, i have become ever so slightly obsessed with a new article I read recently about bats dying in the turbines. I often wonder if this true, as well as the reported bird deaths, or if this is some sort of propaganda put out by other energy manufacturers. Any comment or knowledge on the subject?

  2. Good data exist on bird mortality due to wind turbines. About 4 bird deaths per turbine per year. Then one asks, how does that compare to major causes of bird mortality such as cats, impacts with structures, already changed climate? The answer is that bird mortality from wind turbines is minor compared to the major causes of premature bird death. Climate change threatens massive extinctions of whole species. Wind power is part of the medicine needed to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of heat trapping pollution below the disastrous level of 500 ppm. Bat mortality is about 20 per turbine per year. There are impacts from wind power. But compared to other forms of electric production, they are small.