USA Wind Power Capacity Approaches 30 Gigawatts

Turbine Image: BigStock

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. wind power industry installed 1.2 gigawatts of new capacity in the second quarter of 2009, bringing the total added this year to just over 4 gigawatts – 1.1 gigawatt more than the amount added to the end of June in 2008.
The amount of new capacity added in 10 states during the second quarter is enough to power the equivalent of about 350,000 homes.
Total U.S. wind power generating capacity is nudging 30 gigawatts according to the association and now offsets an average of 54 million tons of carbon annually, reducing carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2% or the equivalent of taking 9 million cars off the road.
The state posting the fastest growth in the 2nd quarter was Missouri, where wind power installations expanded by 90%. Pennsylvania and South Dakota ranked second and third in terms of growth rate in the second quarter, expanding by 28% and 21% respectively.
Three wind turbine and turbine component manufacturing facilities were also opened during the period, four facilities were expanding, and eight facilities were announced during the second quarter.
While growth in the wind power sector has been solid, the AWEA says it was under predictions and called on US Congress and the Obama administration to pass a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) with strong early targets. The USA is the world leader in installed wind power capacity, however China is rapidly closing the gap. China’s wind power capacity doubled in the last 12 months.
The full Q2 market report is available on the AWEA web site (PDF) .