According to the American Wind Energy Association blog, installed wind capacity in the United States has reached 82,000 MW. That puts it past the 80,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity and makes wind the largest installed renewable energy resource.
While the overall number represents a significant milestone, some of the details are interesting as well. Wind represents 5.5% of US generation. Moreover, a substantial amount of that wind power is generated in some extremely red, extremely resource-rich states. Not only do Texas and North Dakota have more oil than the rest of us; they also seem to have more air.
Of course, one reason why the plains states generate so much of our wind power is that, to date, offshore wind hasn’t really gotten going in the United States. Current efforts to advance offshore wind, such as the Massachusetts legislation providing for a 1,600 MW procurement for offshore wind, will only boost wind’s share of electricity generation even higher.
If the Commonwealth REALLY wanted to advance offshore wind, it would encourage more cost -effective and energy efficient siting much closer to shore than 12-20 miles out. Other places (e.g., Europe, Block Island) seem somehow able to survive the visual impacts without societal disintegration.
Awesome! More renewable energy use, it will minimize the carbon emission around the world.