Wind power was 42% of all new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2012
Wind power in the U.S. is doing well, and the country has only just begun to tap its massive potential (especially offshore). According to the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2012 by the American Wind Energy Association, wind power had its best year ever in 2012, with a year-over-year growth in capacity of 28% coming from 6,700 new wind turbines, bringing the country’s total to about 45,100. 2012 also saw some interesting records: “Xcel Energy’s Colorado system has obtained more than 50 percent of its electricity from wind on multiple occasions. All these have been achieved reliably for electric customers, as utilities become increasingly familiar with integrating more wind power into their operations.”
“We had an incredibly productive year in 2012,” said Rob Gramlich, Interim CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “It really showed what this industry can do and the impact we can have with a continued national commitment to renewable energy. We’re doing what Americans overwhelmingly say they want: making more clean, renewable energy, and creating good jobs in U.S. factories.” AWEA’s report found that over 550 factories across the country provide parts and services for the wind energy industry, which provided 80,000 American jobs in 2012.
Hopefully 2013 will also break records. The renewal of the production and investment tax credit at the beginning of this year should definitely help.