The American Wind Energy Association reported this week that wind energy had record-breaking growth in 2012 and now produces more than 10 percent of the electricity in nine states. Here are the details.
* Iowa is currently ranked first in wind generation. The state gets 24.5 percent of its electricity generation from wind, followed closely by South Dakota with 23.9 percent, the AWEA stated.
* Other states producing more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind include North Dakota, 14.7 percent; Minnesota, 14.3 percent; Kansas, 11.4 percent; Colorado and Idaho, each with 11.3 percent; Oklahoma, 10.5 percent; and Oregon, 10 percent.
* Kansas doubled its installation of wind power during 2012.
* According to the AWEA, enough wind energy is now being produced to power the equivalent of 15 million homes, or the number of homes in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio combined.
* Wind energy now provides 5 percent or more of generation in 14 states. Other states making that list include Wyoming, Texas, New Mexico, Maine and Washington.
* Texas -- which uses the most electricity of any state in the nation -- also has more wind power than any other state, with more than 12,000 MW installed. That is over a fifth of the 60,000 MW in the U.S. as of the end of 2012.
* California and Montana are edging toward the 5 percent mark with 4.9 and 4.5 percent respectively, the AWEA reported.
* Wind power generation increased by 17 percent last year, AWEA stated. Wind energy now accounts for 3.5 percent of the nation's electricity, according to figures provided by the Energy Information Administration.
* Wind energy is now the No. 1 source of new U.S. electric generating capacity, the AWEA reported. It provides about 42 percent of all new generating capacity.
* In late January, the AWEA reported that the 13,124 MW of wind capacity installed in 2012 leveraged $25 billion in private investment.
* The milestone of 60,000 MW of energy was reached just five months after the nation reached 50,000 MW installed.
* A total of 66 utilities bought or owned wind power in 2012, up from 42 in 2011. New wind power purchasers in 2012 included 18 industrial buyers, 11 schools and universities, and eight towns, the AWEA reported.
- Nature & Environment
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