TUESDAY 23 DECEMBER, 2008 |
American Wind Power Industry Celebrates 2008 Achievements
It's been a big year for wind
in the USA, with the country passing Germany to become the world
leader in wind energy generation. By mid-2008, the U.S. wind industry
passed the 20,000-megawatt (MW) installed capacity milestone, taking just two
years compared to bring 10,000 megawatts online. The previous 10,000 megawatts
of capacity had taken two decades to achieve.
According to the American Wind
Energy Association (AWEA)
, the 21,000 MW of capacity will generate over 60
billion kWh of electricity in 2009, enough to serve over 5.5 million American
homes with renewable
This level of clean and green electricity, if it had been produced by fossil
fuels, would have required 30.4 million tons of coal (enough to fill two
1,000-mile-long coal trains), 91 million barrels of oil or 560 billion cubic
feet of natural gas.
Furthermore, if the electricity produced by America’s wind farms was generated using fossil fuels,
it would have contributed, 198,000 tons of acid-rain causing sulfur dioxide (SO2),
93,000 additional tons of smog-causing nitrous oxide (NOx) and 36 million additional tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emission. The electricity produced by US wind farms is equivalent of taking over six million cars off the
road according to the Association.
Wind power made a significant positive contribution to the shaky U.S. economy
during 2008, with t least 50 new, expanded or announced wind-related
manufacturing facilities across the nation. Between the first quarter and third
quarter the year, 9,000 new jobs were created in manufacturing components such
. The wind industry invested more than AUD $21.5 billion in
domestic wind farm construction, adding thousands more domestic employees in
construction and operations.
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