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Windtech International May June 2024 issue






View from Inside Hannah HuntAmerican wind energy continues to power forward to reach new heights. Today, it powers more US families and businesses than ever before and employs a record 105,500 men and women across all 50 states. What is most exciting? More is on the way. Let’s take a closer look. AWEA’s 2017 US Wind Industry Annual Market Report shows how wind has become a key contributor to our electricity mix, and how the days of wind occupying a niche space are long gone.
By Hannah Hunt, Deputy Director, Electricity Policy & Demand, AWEA, USA

Over the last decade, the US wind industry has attracted US$ 145 billion in private investment, and in 2017 alone, new wind projects spurred US$ 11 billion in new private investment.

The country now has enough installed wind capacity to power over 28 million American homes, and is continuing to expand to new areas, with North Carolina recently becoming the 41st state with a utility-scale wind farm. Overall the US now has 88,973MW of installed wind capacity.

With nearly all projects located in rural areas, wind’s economic benefits are accruing to areas needing investment the most. Just ask any landowner receiving payment for hosting projects on their property – these payments totalled more than US$ 267 million in 2017.

Thanks to strong growth, wind surpassed conventional hydropower in 2016 to become the country’s largest source of renewable energy capacity. It likely will not be long before wind surpasses hydropower in terms of generation as well.

Wind now supplies 6.3% of the country’s electricity and is on pace to provide 10% of US electricity by 2020. At the state level, the numbers are even more noteworthy. Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota all now generate over 30% of their electricity using wind.

This strong and steady growth helped to create and sustain 105,000 wind jobs across all 50 states. Many of these are in manufacturing, bringing opportunities to a sector of the US economy sorely in need of them. We are also proud to hire America’s veterans at a rate 64% higher than the average US industry.

Looking forward, more than 28,000MW of new projects are either under construction or in advanced development, an impressive 34% increase over the end of 2016.

For wind’s success story to continue, the industry will continue to focus on driving down costs. Wind’s costs are down 67% since 2009, making it the cheapest source of new electricity in many parts of the country. Several factors, including technology advancements, policy stability, and improved supply chain efficiencies all work together to keep wind cost-competitive.

At WINDPOWER 2018 in May, thousands of key players from the global marketplace will come together to discuss new wind opportunities and work together to achieve new breakthroughs. Join us at WINDPOWER to get the information you need and to network with your peers.

Further reading
AWEA’s 2017 US Wind Industry Annual Market Report

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