Energy Dept. Reports: U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Reaches Record Highs

Posted: 08/06/2013  browse the blog archive
Energy Dept. Reports: U.S. Wind Energy Production and Manufacturing Reaches Record Highs

Two new reports released by the Energy Department today revealed record growth in the U.S. wind market.  The Wind Technologies Market Report and the Distributed Wind Market Report collectively show that the United States continues to hold one of the world’s largest and fastest growing wind energy markets.  Since 2012, wind energy has been the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation, accounting for $25 billion in U.S. investment.

In the first four years of the Obama Administration, American electricity generation from wind and solar power more than doubled. The growth in the overall U.S. wind industry has led directly to more American jobs throughout a number of sectors and at factories and power plants across the country. According to industry estimates, the wind sector employs over 80,000 American workers, including workers at manufacturing facilities up and down the supply chain, as well as engineers and construction workers who build wind installations.

The Wind Technologies Market Report, released by the Energy Department and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, details the latest trends in the U.S. wind power market.  Last year, over 13 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power capacity were added to the U.S. grid – nearly double the wind capacity deployed in 2011. This growth helped America’s total wind power capacity surpass 60 GW at the end of 2012 – representing enough capacity to power more than 15 million homes each year, or as many homes as in California and Washington state combined. The country’s cumulative installed wind energy capacity has increased more than 22-fold since 2000.

The Distributed Wind Market Report, released by the Energy Department and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, showcased strong growth in the U.S. distributed wind energy market.  The report explained that compared to traditional, centralized power plants, distributed wind energy installations directly supply power to the local grid, helping to improve grid reliability and efficiency for homes, farms, businesses and communities. Turbines used in these applications can range in size from a few hundred watts to multi-megawatts, and can help power remote, off-grid homes and farms as well as local schools and manufacturing facilities.

Most distributed wind buyers continue to choose small wind turbines, which have a rated capacity of no greater than 100 kilowatts. Last year, domestic sales from U.S. wind suppliers accounted for nearly 90 percent of new small wind generation capacity.

The Chanler Group is actively engaged in the review and analysis of incentive-based renewable energy programs to determine potential benefits to our clients.  Global energy consumption continues to increase each year and, with this increase, the demand for safe, clean, and unlimited energy is on the rise.  The Federal and State governments promote this interest through a variety of financially-beneficial incentives.  Our understanding of these laws allows us to guide homeowners, businesses, and/or developers through the various ways to take advantage of these incentive-based benefits.  With the appreciation that renewable energy laws and regulations are constantly changing, The Chanler Group is committed to investing in its understanding and practice of this area of law.