Interesting Wind Energy Facts

Wind Energy Foundation

1. The United States currently has 61.11 MW of installed wind project capacity, comprising 5.7% of total U.S. installed electric generating capacity.

2. Wind mills have been in use since 2000 B.C. and were first developed in China and Persia.

3. Wind power is currently the fastest-growing source of electricity production in the world.

4. Iowa and South Dakota generated more than 25% of their energy from wind during 2013.

5. A single wind turbine can power 500 homes.

6. In 2012, the Shepherds Flat wind project became the largest online wind project in the United States (845 megawatts), breaking the record previously held by the Roscoe Wind Farm (781.5 megawatts).

Interesting Wind Energy Facts
The Shepherds Flat South facility.

7. In 2013, the roughly 168 million megawatt-hours generated by wind energy avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 4.4% or removing 16.9 million cars from the roads.

8. There’s enough on-shore wind in America to power the country 10 times over.

9. In 2013, 12 states accounted for 80% of U.S. wind-generated electricity: Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

10. Most wind turbines (95%) are installed on private land.

11. Modern wind turbines produce 15 times more electricity than the typical turbine did in 1990.

12. At times, wind energy produces as much as 25% of the electricity on the Texas power grid.

13. American wind power is a $10 billion a year industry.

14. Unlike nearly every other form of energy, wind power uses virtually no water.

15. By 2030, U.S. wind power will save nearly 30 trillion bottles of water.

16. At times, wind power produces as much as 45% of the electricity in Spain.

17. Wind energy became the number-one source of new U.S. electricity-generating capacity for the first time in 2012, providing some 42% of all new generating capacity. In fact, 2012 was a strong year for all renewables, as together they accounted for more than 55% of all new U.S. generating capacity.

18. During 2013, California led the nation in new wind installations (with 269 megawatts), followed by Kansas, Michigan, Texas, and New York.

19. As of May 2014, the United States is home to 46,000 operating wind turbines.

20. Right now, 559 wind-related manufacturing facilities produce a product for the U.S. wind energy industry across 44 states.

21. Both Nevada and Puerto Rico added their first utility-scale projects during 2012.

22. In 2000, more than 60% of U.S. wind power capacity was installed in California, with 17 states hosting utility-scale wind turbines. Today, 39 states and Puerto Rico share 60 gigawatts of utility-scale wind project development.

Interesting Wind Energy Facts
Wind turbines a La Muela near Zaragoza. Photograph: Tor Eigeland/Alamy.

23. Wind is a credible source of new electricity generation in the United States. Wind power comprised 43% of all new U.S. electric capacity additions in 2012 and represented $25 billion in new investment. Wind power currently contributes more than 12% of total electricity generation in nine states (with three of these states above 20%), and provides more than 4% of total U.S. electricity supply.

24. Wind energy prices have dropped since 2009 and now rival previous lows. Lower wind turbine prices and installed project costs, along with improved capacity factors, are enabling aggressive wind power pricing. After topping out at nearly $70/megawatt-hour in 2009, the average levelized long-term price from wind power sales agreements signed in 2011/2012 – many of which were for projects built in 2012 – fell to around $40/megawatt-hour nationwide.

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