Interesting Wind Energy Facts

#1. The U.S. currently has 73,992 MW of installed wind project capacity, comprising 6.6% of total U.S. installed electric generating capacity.

#2. Wind mills have been in use since 2000 B.C. and were first developed in China and Persia.

#3. Iowa generated more than 30% of its electricity from wind in 2015, the highest for any U.S. state in history. South Dakota came in second place, generating 25.5% of in-state electricity wind energy.

#4. Twenty states now produce more than 5% of their electricity generation from wind energy.

#5. A single wind turbine can power 500 homes.

#6. In 2015, the MidAmerican Energy project in O’Brien, Iowa became the largest online wind project in the United States (946 MW), breaking the record previously held by the Shepards Flat wind project (845 megawatts).

#7. In 2015, electricity generated by wind energy avoided 132 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) — the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 6% while avoiding the consumption of over 73 billion gallons of water.

#8. Most wind turbines (98.7%) are installed on private land.

#9. Modern wind turbines produce 19 times more electricity than the typical turbine did in 1990.

#10. In 2015, Texas led the nation with more than 24,000 wind jobs.

#11. Wind energy became the number-one source of new U.S. electricity-generating capacity for the first time in 2012, providing some 42% of all new generating capacity. Since then, wind has continued to perform extremely well, along with all other renewables. Together, renewables accounted for two-thirds of all new U.S. generating capacity in 2015.

#12. Unlike nearly every other form of utility-scale energy, wind power uses virtually no water.

#13. On December 20, 2015, wind power produced over 40% of the electricity in Texas for 17 hours straight, peaking at 45%.

#14. Since 2011, the wind industry has invested an average of $13 billion annually in the U.S.

#15. During 2015, Texas led the nation in new wind power commissioning with new wind project installation totaling over 3,615 MW.

#16. 70% of all U.S. Congressional Districts are home to an operating wind project, a wind-related manufacturing facility, or both.

#17. As of May 2016, the United States is home to 48,500 operating wind turbines. These turbines are present across 40 states plus Puerto Rico.

#18. During 2015, over 500 wind-related manufacturing facilities across 43 states produced a product for the U.S. wind energy industry.

#19. In 2015, North Carolina announced the start of construction on the state’s first utility-scale wind farm, while the nation’s first offshore wind project is currently under construction in Rhode Island.

#20. In 2000, more than 60% of U.S. wind power capacity was installed in California, with 17 states hosting utility-scale wind turbines. By the end of 2015, 40 states and Puerto Rico share 70 gigawatts of utility-scale wind project development.

#21.  Wind power was the top source for new electric capacity last year in the U.S., comprising 35% of all new U.S. electric capacity additions.

#22. Wind energy prices have dropped 66 percent since 2009. Lower wind turbine prices and installed project costs, along with improved capacity factors, are enabling aggressive wind power pricing.

#23. Wind turbine technician is now the fastest-growing profession in the U.S.

#24. Wind projects deliver $222 million in annual land lease payments to famers and local landowners. More than $156 million of those payments were made to families in low-income counties.

#25. The wind industry pays taxes to local communities, providing added revenue for hospitals, schools, roads, and other public services.

(1) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 14

(3) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 24

(4) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 24

(6) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 55

(7) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 11

(8) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 54

(9) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 72

(10) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 11

(11) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) “Energy Infrustructure Update” Report

(12) AWEA, Research & Data: The Basics of Wind Energy

(13) ERCOT Wind Integration Report, 12/20/2015

(14) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 9

(15) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 31

(16) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 9

(17) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 13

(18) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 78

(19) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 30

(20) AWEA Media Center, 12/21/2015

(21) AWEA Media Center, 2/16/2016

(22) DoE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Wind Technologies Market Report

(23) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, 12/8/2015

(24) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 9

(25) AWEA’s Annual Market Report, p 95