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%

By state

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

Employment

Total installed capacity

54%: Texas

18%: Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska

12%: Midwest

16% Other

Q1 wind capacity installations

Oklahoma: 270MW

Iowa: 154MW

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