By March 6, 2015 Read More →

American wind energy largest source of new electricity in 2014

American Wind Energy Association says Congress still must provide long-term policy certainty

American wind energy added significantly more new electricity than any other resource in 2014, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released Wednesday.


Texas continued to lead the U.S. with the most wind installed wind capacity, as well as the most electricity generated from wind energy – over 39 million megawatts-hours, enough to power more than 3.6 million homes. Source: AWEA; Data Source: EIA Electric Power Monthly

Wind power generated 4.4 percent of all the electricity in America in 2014 and maintained its position as the fifth largest electricity source in the U.S., according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA). Iowa led the nation by producing 28.5 percent of its electricity from wind power, followed by South Dakota at 25.3 percent and Kansas at 21.7. Wind energy provided more than 15 percent of electricity in a total of seven states, more than 10 percent in a total of nine states, and more than five percent in a total of 19 states.

All renewable energy sources including hydropower now deliver more than 13 percent of the nation’s electricity, with wind energy providing more than one-third of that total.

“The U.S. is blessed with an abundant supply of wind energy. Pairing this homegrown resource with continued technology innovation has made the U.S. the home of the most productive wind turbines in the world,” said Emily Williams, Deputy Director of Industry Data and Analysis for the American Wind Energy Association.

Analysis released last year found the U.S. is number one in the world in wind energy production.

American wind energy

Figure 1: Energy sources by amount new generation in 2014, AWEA.

“Having more clean, affordable wind power than ever is helping to keep the lights on for U.S. homes and businesses,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “We have an opportunity to have even more of the U.S. reliably powered by wind, resulting in more well-paying jobs, more benefits for consumers and cleaner air.”

Wind energy’s growth has been driven by technological improvements and cost declines that have reduced the cost of wind energy by more than half over the last five years, as documented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

In 2014, wind provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 16.7 million homes, or all the residential households in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, and Montana. Once recently added U.S. wind projects have had a full year of production, total wind output will likely rise to powering the equivalent of 18 million homes.

Congress is currently faced with the decision to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the primary federal tax incentive for wind energy. The PTC’s performance-based incentive is a primary reason why U.S. wind plants are more productive than those in other countries.

American wind energy

Figure 2: Top 10 States for Wind Generation

Construction of new U.S. wind farms has driven an average of $12.2 billion a year in private investment over the last five years, and $100 billion since 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Texas broke into the top 10 states for percentage of the state’s electricity supplied by wind. The main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), generated 10.6 percent of its electricity from wind in 2014. Texas continued to lead the U.S. with the most wind installed wind capacity, as well as the most electricity generated from wind energy – over 39 million megawatts-hours, enough to power more than 3.6 million homes. At times, wind energy has provided nearly 40 percent of the electricity on the main Texas grid, and over 60 percent of electricity on the main Colorado power system.

Texas, Iowa, California and Oklahoma all generated enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes.

The U.S. will tap into more of its wind power resources this year, and in years ahead, as the U.S. wind energy industry entered 2015 with a record of more than 13,000 MW of wind projects under construction. Construction activity is currently ongoing in 22 states.

American wind energy is emerging as a critical solution for states and utilities to cost-effectively reduce pollution, which will help comply with pending EPA rules. In 2014, the U.S. wind fleet reduced carbon dioxide pollution by around 125 million metric tons, equivalent to 26 million cars worth of carbon emissions.

“Wind has more than tripled since 2008, it can double from where it is today to 10 percent by 2020, then double again to 20 percent by 2030, and become the leading source of electricity in the U.S. by 2050,” said Kiernan. “However, to get there Congress must provide wind with the same policy certainty it provides to other energy sources by rapidly extending the Production Tax Credit for as long as possible.”

American wind power now supports well-paying manufacturing jobs at over 500 manufacturing facilities in 43 states, and 50,000 well-paying jobs. Wind farms deliver over $180 million a year to landowners in lease payments, as over 98 percent of wind projects are located on private land.

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1 Comment on "American wind energy largest source of new electricity in 2014"

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  1. Joe says:

    That was not additional capacity, it was at the expense if traditional manufacturers. The green energy field bludgeons any fossil fuel producer with over regulations while getting sweetheart grants that guarantee mediocrity, perpetuation of a business model that can not compete period. All of America has felt the pain as this group squeezes their money by paying more and more for energy and taking tax dollars to subsidize failure. The promise if free is and always was a lie. Excess capacity leads to lower prices but these businesses use their connections to kill every new nuclear power plant and shutter coal fire plants across the nation. Thanks