U.S. number one in the world in wind energy production

 Washington, D.C. — The United States continues to lead the world in wind energy production according to recently released data by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Over 31 percent of Iowa’s in-state electricity generation came from wind last year – marking another major milestone. This is the first time wind has supplied a state with more than 30 percent of its annual electricity. Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota all generated more than 20 percent of their electricity from wind in 2015.

“The U.S. is blessed with world-class wind resources,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “We’re tapping into this homegrown resource more than ever thanks to American innovation and U.S. workers building some of the most productive wind turbines in the world. Now more than ever, low-cost, stably-priced, zero-emission wind energy is keeping our air clean and cutting costs for consumers. American wind power is well on its way to supplying 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030.”

“We are proud of Iowa’s leadership in wind energy," said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who also serves as Chairman of the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “We’ve seen exponential growth in wind energy and the data released today reinforces what we’ve been seeing in every corner of our state. With potential to jump above 40 percent in the next five years, we are committed to building an even greener Iowa future that will provide our Iowa families with cleaner, renewable energy and job opportunities.”

Wind produced over 190 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in the U.S. last year, enough electricity for about 17.5 million typical U.S. homes. China is close behind the U.S. at 185.1 million MWh and followed by third-place Germany at 84.6 MWh. Although China has nearly double the installed wind power capacity as the U.S., strong wind resources and production-based U.S. policy have helped build some of the most productive wind farms in the world. Upgraded transmission infrastructure in the U.S. also helps relieve congestion and bring more low-cost wind energy to the most densely populated parts of the country.

Wind energy supplied 4.7 percent of the total electricity generated in the U.S. in 2015, enough electricity to supply the equivalent of all electricity demand in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Solar energy, including utility-scale and distributed solar, generated 0.94 percent of all U.S. electricity in 2015.

The U.S. now has nearly 75 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind power capacity. Last year, wind installed 8.6 GW of new electric generating capacity, making it the largest source of new capacity ahead of solar (7.3 GW) and natural gas (6 GW). An additional 9.4 GW of wind power was under construction at the start of 2016, with another 4.9 GW in advanced stages of development.

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