US wind at a glance
74,512MW total installed capacity
>10,100MW currently under construction
520MW new electric generating capacity in Q1 2016
5,100MW in advanced stages of development, nearing construction
66% price drop for cost of wind power since 2009
88,000 jobs at the start of 2016 – up 20% since 2015
>660MW power purchase agreements (PPAs) announced
The Department of Defense joined 3M, Salesforce, and others, to contract for 246MW of wind. More than 1/3 of the capacity purchased in 2016’s first three months adds to 4,500MW of PPAs signed since the beginning of 2015.
Installed electric generating capacity nationwide (2015) (make pie graph)
- Wind: 41%
- Solar: 28.5%
- Natural gas: 28.1%
48,800 wind turbines operate in 40 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam
Turbines were installed at 7 projects across 6 states in Q1 2016
Total installed capacity
18%: Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska
Q1 wind capacity installations
Utah: 62 MW
New Mexico: 32MW
Support for wind
- EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Federal government mandate plans to cut carbon pollution continues to support renewables. Wind energy is the biggest, fastest, and cheapest way for states to cut carbon pollution and comply with the plan, according to analysis of EIA data – and states that add wind energy now can benefit from increases in jobs and consumer savings ahead of initial Clean Power Plan compliance in 2022.
- Increased infrastructure: Building long-distance transmission capacity helps move low-cost wind energy to cities where it’s needed most, saving consumers money, and increasing the resilience of the electricity grid.
- Paris Agreement: At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in Dec. 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The global action plan, due to start in 2020, puts the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to below 2°C.
- Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit: Both extended at the end of 2015, support renewable energy.
Sources: American Wind Energy Association: U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2016 Market Report; European Commission; Energy Information Administration