Monday, April 13, 2009

Wind energy factoids from the American Wind Energy Association

In 2008 the wind energy industry brought online over 8,500 MW of new wind power capacity, increasing total capacity by 50% in one year. Phenomenal growth!! Keep it up!!

The U.S. market for small wind turbines (capacity less than 100 kW) grew 96% in 2008. There were 19 MW of additional small wind turbines installed.

Wind turbine or component manufacturers added or expanded over 70 facilities during 2007-8.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 includes a three year extension of a production tax credit (PTC) and a new program that allows renewable energy developers an option of securing a grant from the Treasury Department in the amount of a 30% investment tax credit. It also authorises an additional $1.6 billion of new renewable energy bonds for tribal governments, public power providers, and electric cooperatives.

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Wind energy now contributes over 42% of all non-hydro-electric renewable energy generation.

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The U.S. Department of Energy has a goal that 20% of U.S. electricity needs be met by wind power by 2030. A report: 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply found this could be met in one scenario. That by 2018 installations of new wind power capacity would have to increase to more than 16,000 MW per year and continue at that rate through 2030. A total of 300,000 MW of onshore and offshore wind power capacity would have to be installed.

Fortunately the actual rate of new installations in 2008 exceeded the required level to meet the 2018 target.

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