The rapid development of the US wind energy industry has resulted in significant reduction of carbon emissions, according to a report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Wind generation reduced 96 million metric tonnes, or 4.4%, of CO2 emissions during 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road.

Presently, the country has 61,000MW of installed wind capacity..

AWEA senior policy analyst Emily Williams said, "Wind energy is leading the US to a low carbon future.

"Not only is wind energy reliable and affordable but it’s providing sustained emissions reductions in the sector that contributes the most to climate change, the power sector."

More than 12,000MW of wind energy projects were under construction in the US at the end of 2013 and these projects will help in reducing higher amount of emissions.

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"Wind generation reduced 96 million metric tonnes, or 4.4%, of CO2 emissions during 2013."

Once the projects are operational they would reduce emissions by 117 million tons, or more than 5.3%, annually, AWEA said.

In addition to this, wind power generation also reduces various health-harming air pollutants, including smog-forming sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, dangerous particulate matter, mercury and other toxins.

The wind energy also saves in massive quantity of water consumption that is evaporated during the cooling process at conventional power plants, while in 2013 the sector has saved 36.5 billion gallons of water, according to the report.

Image: US wind power cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 4.4%: AWEA. Photo: courtesy of watiporn /