The US wind industry installed 6,816MW in 2011, 31 per cent higher than 2010, for a total of 49,916MW installed in the USA to date. And there are more than 8,300MW under construction, setting the stage for a strong 2012. The market report illustrates how wind power has created a positive feedback loop where market certainty allows for states to generate affordable electricity from wind at record levels. South Dakota and Iowa lead a record five states that received more than 10 per cent of their electricity from wind in 2011. Seven states have at least 4,000 wind jobs apiece, and the list shows the industry’s geographic reach, stretching. In the past five years of bipartisan policy stability, American wind power has:
- Brought in as much as $20 billion annually in private investment to the U.S.
- Created one of the largest providers of new American electric generation with 35% of all new power capacity, right behind natural gas.
- Driven technology advances that have made wind more affordable than ever. A typical wind turbine now generates 30% more electricity – all while driving down costs.
- Created nearly 500 new American manufacturing facilities and employed 75,000 overall, including 30,000 in the manufacturing sector, from coast to coast.