U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Reaches Record Highs

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Two new recent reports from the Energy Department show record growth in the U.S. wind market. This growth means a greater portion of renewable energy accessible to the United States as well as a growth of new jobs numbering in the tens of thousands available throughout the country. The Energy Department reports also show that the United States has both one of the largest and also one of the fastest growing wind markets in the world. As of 2012, wind energy was the number one source of new electricity generation capacity, representing a whole 43% of all new generation capacity for the year, as well as $25 billion in investments.

Some of this growth can be attributed to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which has made it clear that wind energy is an important part of the United States energy future in the all-of-the-above strategy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify the energy economy, and bring innovative energy technologies to fruition. It’s also notable that the electricity generation of both wind and solar energy more than doubled under the first four years of the Obama administration, more evidence of the government’s efforts. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz cites this growth as proof of how important it is for the country to have a consistent energy policy that can ensure that America continues to be a leader in clean energy innovation.

The first of the two recent reports from the Energy Department was the 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report. This report came with the efforts of the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory and detailed how 13 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity was added to the U.S. energy grid in 2012, which as almost double the additions of 2011 and brought the total wind capacity to over 60 GW. This means that wind capacity alone brings enough energy to the grid to power more than 15 million homes. This is about a twenty-two-fold increase from the capacity of 2000.


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