In 2020, wind power generated over 300 terawatt-hours, or 7.29 percent of the total electrical energy in the country, surpassing hydroelectric power as the biggest source of renewable energy in the US. Here are some impressive facts about the fast-growing wind energy sector:
- Installed Capacity
The third quarter of 2020 saw the addition of 1,934 MW in wind power capacity across the country. This made it the highest third-quarter ever for wind industry installations in the US.
- Largest Source of Renewable Energy
Wind power had the distinction of becoming the largest source of renewable energy in the country last year, overtaking hydroelectric power in the process. The installed capacity of the wind sector is sufficient to power 32 million homes.
- Wind Belt States
Wind energy production accounts for over 20 percent of the total electricity generated in these six states, collectively known as the Wind Belt of the United States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Maine, Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma. Wind has now grown to become the largest source of electricity in Iowa and Kansas.
- Employment Generation
Currently, the wind energy industry in the US supports 120,000 well-paid jobs, and the potential opportunities in this fast-growing sector are huge. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) lists solar installers and wind technicians as two of the highest-growth job opportunities in the country. The employment, according to the BLS forecasts, is set to grow 63.3 percent for solar PV installers and 56.9 percent for wind technicians in the next ten years which is awesome because regulations and lockdown measures have destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs in America.
- Indigenous Manufacturing
The 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report notes that the manufacturing of as much as 70-90 percent of turbine components takes place in the United States. More than 500 American factories employ over 26,000 workers in manufacturing jobs related to the wind energy industry.
- Supporting Rural Communities
Wind energy brings economic benefits to rural communities in the form of local and state taxes, and landowner lease payments. In 2019, wind farms contributed over $1.6 billion, with the wind belt states being the biggest beneficiaries.
- Offshore Potential
Wind power stands at the cusp of astounding growth in the upcoming decade. Of the total upcoming wind power projects in the US, the share of offshore projects is the largest at 21 percent. America’s shores are blessed with exceptional wind resources that provide a phenomenal economic opportunity. Offshore wind projects could bring in $57 billion in investments by 2030, and create up to 83,000 well-paid jobs.
- Reducing Carbon Emissions
Last year, wind energy substituted the carbon emissions of over 42 million cars, reducing the carbon emissions by over 198 million tons. The enormous benefits of clean renewable energy like wind power include a healthier environment, reduction in carbon emissions, and conservation of precious water resources.
- Corporate Responsibility
Companies across the country are buying a record quantity of wind energy as more corporations recognize the benefits of wind power in terms of its affordability, apart from being a reliable option that provides clean energy to power their businesses..
- Signs of a Strong 2021
The pipeline for wind projects is consistently touching record highs. The new wind projects in various stages of development are at 43,575 MW at present. The future of wind power looks more promising than ever before.