American wind power topped 4 percent of the U.S. power grid for the first time last year and has delivered 30 percent of all new generating capacity for the last five years. In Iowa and South Dakota, wind power now exceeds 25 percent of total electricity production. In nine states it provided more than 12 percent and in 17 states, more than five percent.
Wind power generated 4.13 percent of all the electricity in America in 2013 as the fifth largest electricity source in the U.S., according to the latest data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). That is enough to power the equivalent of 15.5 million American homes, which is equivalent of all the residential households in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, and Ohio combined.
“Wind energy continues to make inroads as a major contributor to the U.S. power mix,” said Elizabeth Salerno, Vice President of Industry Data and Analysis for the American Wind Energy Association. “The electricity generated by American wind power has more than tripled since 2008 not only due to significant growth in new wind projects but also technology innovation leading to more productive wind turbines.” All renewable energy sources now deliver nearly 13% of the nation’s electricity.
Texas, the state with the largest electricity load and the most installed wind capacity, also generated the most electricity from wind energy – over 35.9 million megawatt-hours, or enough to power 3.3 million homes. ERCOT, the main electric grid in Texas, received 9.9 percent of its electrical generation from wind energy during 2013 and is on track to top 10 percent in the coming years considering the 7,000 MW of new capacity now under construction in Texas.
The top states for installed wind capacity all set records in 2013 for the amount of electricity generated. Texas, Iowa, California, and Oklahoma each generated enough electricity to power more than 1 million American homes.
The geographic diversity and abundance of American wind installations is a reflection of the United States’ strong wind resource. In a 2010 study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported over 10 million MW of wind resource in the U.S., enough to power the equivalent of the nation’s total electricity needs 10 times over.
The wind energy industry started 2014 with a record 12,000 MW of wind project capacity under construction and will deliver even more clean and affordable energy to our nation’s electricity generation portfolio.
Chart Source: AWEA; Data Source: EIA Electric Power Monthly
Note: These statistics from the Energy Information Administration represent generation produced within each state. This means that states that are importing wind, like California, may have lower totals than those used to comply with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).