The U.S. wind energy industry installed 2,836 megawatts of new generating capacity in the first quarter of 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Fifteen U.S. states completed wind power projects during the first quarter, bringing total installed generating capacity to 28,206 MW in the United States. According to AWEA, the newly installed projects would power the equivalent of 816,000 homes, and the total U.S. generating capacity is now sufficient to power more than 8 million homes.
AWEA estimates that current U.S. wind power installations help avoid 52 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
While demand for new wind power projects remains very strong, projections for adding new capacity throughout the remainder of 2009 are low - at 3,540 megawatts of planned installation - primarily due to tight credit markets which make it difficult to obtain financing. Wind industry leader Vestas says the industry “has suffered from a funding crisis — not a demand crisis."
AWEA CEO Denise Bode asserts that the U.S. "still lacks the long-term signal that is needed to build up renewable energy on large scale. The time is now for a national renewable electricity standard (RES), a policy that over 80% of Americans favor and for which they voted: President Obama’s campaign position of generating 25% of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 will help revitalize our economy and protect consumers when they need it the most: when the price of the fuels used for electricity generation goes up.”
Nine U.S. states now have a wind energy operating capacity of the more than 1 gigawatt, including:
• Texas with 7,907 MW
• Iowa with 2,883 MW
• California with 2,653 MW
• Minnesota with 1,804 MW
• Washington with 1,479 MW
• Oregon with 1,363 MW
• New York with 1,261 MW
• Colorado with 1,068 MW
• Kansas with 1,014 MW
States with the most rapid growth in wind capacity in the first quarter include:
• Indiana, 75 percent
• Maine, 55 percent
• Nebraska, 53 percent
• Idaho, 49 percent
• New York, 34 percent
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.