US wind capacity grows by 8% in 2018: AWEA

Jack Unwin 10 April 2019 (Last Updated April 10th, 2019 12:19)

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported that US wind energy capacity has grown by 8% in 2018 to a total of 96.4GW, doubling its capacity from 2010.

US wind capacity grows by 8% in 2018: AWEA
The AWEA wind energy report has shown that US wind energy capacity has grown by 8% in 2018. Credit: AWEA.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported that US wind energy capacity has grown by 8% in 2018 to a total of 96.4GW, doubling its capacity from 2010. The amount of power produced by wind is able to power 30 million homes across the country.

The AWEA estimate that the US wind industry supports 114,000 jobs, 500 factories and $1bn in revenue for states.

The report singles out Texas as the state supplies a quarter of US wind capacity and notes that if Texas were a country it would be fifth in the world for wind energy. In jobs, the role of wind turbine service technician is the second-fastest growing job in the US after solar installer, and a total of 8,500 new jobs were added to the sector in 2018.

Wind energy now accounts for more than 20% of total energy generation in some states, including Kansas, Iowa and Maine. Wind energy accounts for 6.5% of the US’ electricity supply.

There is currently over 35GW of new wind energy capacity under construction in 31 states. Once completed, the amount of power produced will increase from enough to power 30 million homes to enough for 42 million homes.

AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said: “Wind power’s record-breaking year shows our industry is leading the way to a cleaner, stronger 21st century US economy. America’s least expensive source of new electricity generation is also clean and inexhaustible, which gives our economy an edge in the global marketplace.

“We’re proud to report the wind industry employs a record number of Americans, supports a robust domestic manufacturing sector with over 500 factories, and contributes over a billion dollars a year to states and rural communities.”