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  • Tuesday, August 21, 2012


    Energy Report: U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Surges, Supporting Jobs and Diversifying U.S. Energy Economy

    August 14, 2012 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…According to the 2011 Wind Technologies Market Report, the United States remained one of the world’s largest and fastest growing wind markets in 2011, with wind power representing a remarkable 32 percent of all new electric capacity additions in the United States last year and accounting for $14 billion in new investment…

    “…[T]he percentage of wind equipment made in America also increased dramatically. Nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year – including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears, and generators - is now from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35 percent in 2005…”

    “The report finds that in 2011, roughly 6,800 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity was added to the U.S. grid, a 31 percent increase from 2010 installations. The United States’ wind power capacity reached 47,000 MW by the end of 2011 and has since grown to 50,000 MW…The country’s cumulative installed wind energy capacity grew 16 percent from 2010, and has increased more than18-fold since 2000…[S]ix states now meet more than 10 percent of their total electricity needs with wind power.

    “…[T]he wind sector employs 75,000 American workers, including workers at manufacturing facilities up and down the supply chain, as well as engineers and construction workers who build and operate the wind farms…Technical innovation allowing for larger wind turbines with longer, lighter blades has steadily improved wind turbine performance…[while] project capital and maintenance costs continue to decline…For new wind projects deployed last year, the price of wind under long-term power purchase contracts with utilities averaged 40 percent lower than in 2010 and about 50 percent lower than in 2009, making wind competitive with a range of wholesale power prices seen in 2011…”


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