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August 20, 2014

Energy Department Reports Highlight Strength of U.S. Wind Energy Industry

The United States continues to be a global leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world, according to two reports released on August 18 by the Energy Department and two of its national laboratories.

After modest growth in 2013, total installed wind power capacity in the United States now stands at 61 gigawatts, which meets nearly 4.5% of electricity demand in an average year, according to the 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report, released by the Energy Department and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report also finds that wind energy prices are at an all-time low, with utilities selecting wind as a cost-saving option. The success of the U.S. wind industry has had a ripple effect on the U.S. economy, spurring more than $500 million in exports and supporting jobs related to development, siting, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries. See the 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report PDF.

In total, U.S. turbines in distributed applications, which accounted for more than 80% of all wind turbines installed in the United States last year, reached a cumulative installed capacity of more than 842 megawatts (MW)—enough to power 120,000 average U.S. homes—according to the 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report, released by the Energy Department and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This capacity is supplied by roughly 72,000 turbines across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fact, a total of 14 states, including California, Iowa, and Nevada now each have more than 10 MW of distributed wind capacity. See the 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report PDF and the Energy Department news release. Also, go to the Wind 3013 webpage for full coverage of the reports, including photos, video, interactive graphics, and more.