The United States is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing wind markets in the world. In fact, U.S. wind power has more than tripled in the past decade, and today is the largest source of renewable generating capacity in the country. Last year alone, the U.S. wind industry added 7,588 MW of new wind capacity, and has already added 841 MW in the first quarter of this year. There are now over 56,600 wind turbines that have a combined capacity of 97,223 MW operating in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The increase in American wind development over the past 10 tears is attributed to a combination of enhanced wind turbine technology, increased access to transmission capacity, state-level renewable portfolio standards, and federal production tax credits and grants.
You might be wondering why you should be as excited about wind energy as we are. To help you understand, we’ve outlined some of the top reasons for loving wind energy below.
1. It’s a clean and carbon-free fuel source that does not contribute to air pollution
- Wind turbines can reduce the impacts associated with electricity generation
- Since wind energy helps us diversify our energy mix with clean, renewable wind power, it helps the us reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- Truth be told, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), installed wind power in the U.S. avoids 127 million short tons of carbon dioxide a year. That’s the equivalent of taking 20 million cars off the road!
- Last year alone, wind energy avoided 201 million metric tons of CO2 emissions
2. Wind power helps conserve water
- Wind energy does not require any water to produce electricity
- By obtaining 35% our electricity needs from wind, we can conserve 336 billion gallons of water, according to AWEA
- With many areas throughout our country experiencing the harmful effects of drought, this is a great benefit of using wind energy
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3. Wind create jobs
- Wind energy supports up to 80,000 jobs across the country. In fact, wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing American jobs of the decade
- In 2018, the U.S. wind industry supported over 114,000 jobs across all 50 states and Puerto Rico
- By continuing to invest in wind power, the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates wind power could generate more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050
4. It benefits our economy since it is an abundant, domestic source of energy
- Wind helps U.S. industry growth and competitiveness. In fact, wind has an annual economic impact of roughly $20 billion on the U.S. economy (also as per the DOE)
5. Wind turbines can be built on existing farms and ranches
- This allows farmers and ranchers to work the land since the wind turbines only require some of the land
- Wind power plant owners are able to make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land, providing landowners with additional income
- This greatly benefits the economy in rural areas
Wind is an important source of renewable energy, contributing to 6.3% of our great nation’s electricity supply. It’s growth and increasing popularity among American homeowners and renters is certainly something to commemorate, as illustrated in our top reasons to love wind energy list above.
Having read this list, you’ve probably hopped on the wind-energy loving wagon and might even be curious as to how you can support the robust U.S. wind industry. If you live in a deregulated energy state, you can choose a supplier who purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind, such as Kiwi Energy, to power your home. RECs are contractual instruments that represent the full suite of attributes of 1 Megawatt-hour of renewable energy generation on the electricity grid, and allow you to contribute to the generation of clean, renewable energy.