New information released today by the trade group representing wind energy industry interests in the United States showed that manufacturing continued to grow in 2009, albeit at a slower rate than in 2008. It also showed that wind power installations are on the rise, with the largest growth year ever last year creating over 10,000 MW of new wind power generating capacity, equated to enough power to light up “the equivalent of 2.4 million homes or generate as much electricity as three large nuclear power plants.”
The annual wind energy report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) indicates that 36 states have utility-scale wind projects, while 14 states have more than 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity per state. Interestingly, the modest state of Iowa leads the nation in terms of percentage of electricity from wind power, getting 14% of its power from the wind, while Texas is said to have “consolidated its lead in wind capacity and in largest wind farms installed.”
Other items of note from this report, according to the AWEA, include that “the demand for small wind systems for residential and small business use (rated capacity of 100 kW or less) grew 15% in 2009, adding 20 MW of generating capacity to the nation,” and that offshore wind power is growing, with both the federal government and several states focusing more into encouraging this type of renewable energy development.