Wind power generated a record 6.3-percent share of total U.S. electricity last year, with four states generating more than 30 percent of their electricity from wind power, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said in its newly released U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017.
In 2016, wind accounted for almost 6 percent of the U.S. utility-scale electricity generation, according to the EIA.
Last year, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota were the states which generated over 30 percent of their electricity from wind energy, AWEA said in its report. Across the U.S., 14 states currently generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind.
Wind power capacity increased by 9 percent in 2017, with installation of wind capacity totaling 7,017 megawatts. This brought the total U.S. installed wind power capacity to 88,973 MW—just under 54,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, enough installed capacity to power 27 million American homes, the AWEA says.
The fastest-growing ‘wind state’ last year was New Mexico, adding capacity at a faster rate than any other state. New Mexico’s wind capacity jumped by 51 percent in 2017, or by 570 MW, compared to the 1,112 MW capacity installed as at the end of 2016. Wind power provided more than 13 percent of New Mexico’s electricity generation in 2017. The state is now ranked 15th in the U.S. in terms of installed capacity, which is expected to further grow thanks to a wave of new investment in wind power generation. New Mexico has 1,723 MW of capacity currently under construction or in advanced development, so its wind capacity is on track to double in the near term, according to the AWEA.
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Across the U.S., electricity generation from fossil fuels dropped last year, while renewables generation increased, EIA said last month.
Wind and solar continued to raise their share in 2017, with wind at 6.3 percent and utility-scale solar at 1.3 percent of total U.S. net generation—record shares for both.
The EIA expects wind to become the predominant renewable electricity generation source in 2019, surpassing hydropower, as it expects significant new wind capacity additions to come online in 2018 and 2019, similar to the trend in recent years. The EIA expects wind to account for 6.4 percent of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation in 2018 and for 6.9 percent in 2019, up from 6.3 percent in 2017.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.