Press Releases

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February 12, 2013

Statement by AWEA Interim CEO Rob Gramlich on President Obama's State of the Union speech

 

WASHINGTON— Wind power became the number one source of new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2012. Tonight, President Obama called on Congress to strengthen the stewardship we all share for our environment, and put more Americans to work in clean energy jobs and manufacturing.

 

President Obama sets a goal tonight "to once again double generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020." The President has called on Congress to make the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable, as part of comprehensive corporate tax reform, providing incentives and certainty for investments in new clean energy.

 

"We are proud to be recognized for producing nearly half of the nation's new electric capacity last year, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and as a central climate solution."

"Wind power is one of the most beneficial and cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation technologies available to our nation. With over 60 gigawatts of wind power generating capacity now installed in America, wind energy will avoid nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions this year, equal to 1.8% of the entire country's total carbon emissions.

"We're inspired too, by stories like that of Lee Maxwell, a commissioning technician at Acciona Energy, who was invited to the Capitol to watch the State of the Union address from the First Lady's box. He's a 2012 graduate of the wind turbine technician program at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he earned 26 separate certifications in everything from reading blueprints to driving forklifts. Iowa gets 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy thanks to dedicated workers like Lee, who now travels the country turning on new wind turbines.

"Utility-scale wind power was invented here, and increasingly the parts are made-in-the-U.S.A. Domestic content in the U.S. industry is up to nearly 70 percent, from 25 percent just a few years ago. That has created 30,000 American jobs in wind manufacturing, and further brought down the cost of wind energy now that we're making most of the parts right here in the U.S.A.


"Policymakers all over should be recognizing the opportunity and supporting the growth of clean energy in their own states, such as through robust state Renewable Portfolio Standards.


"Because the Administration and Congress wisely extended the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at the start of the year, tens of thousands of workers in U.S. wind manufacturing facilities can get back to building wind projects and wind turbines. Private investors put $25 billion into the U.S. economy in 2012 and got the signal from the PTC/ITC extensions that the U.S. is still open for clean energy business. This is what successful policy looks like.


"America's homegrown wind energy industry is ready to work with President Obama and the U.S. Congress to advance the goals of energy independence and clean, renewable power that is available and affordable for all Americans."




AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.

 

March 13, 2013

American wind power now generates over 10 percent of electricity in nine states

WASHINGTON— The American wind industry experienced record-breaking growth in 2012 as a U.S. power provider. American wind power's generation shot up 17 percent last year, and produced more than 10 percent of the electricity in nine states, up from five states in 2011. Those numbers are likely to continue growing as new investments and wind projects are announced. Across the country, wind energy produced 3.5 percent of the nation's electricity during 2012, according to the Energy Information Admiration's (EIA) latest figures.

"With wind power serving as the number one source of new generating capacity in 2012, it's no surprise that wind energy is increasing its role in the overall U.S. power mix," said Elizabeth Salerno, Director of Industry Data & Analysis at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).


The growth in wind energy in the U.S. can also be seen in its increasing role in the generation mix of individual states. Iowa and South Dakota reached generation levels greater than 20 percent throughout the entire year of 2012. In a total of 14 states, American wind energy provides 5 percent or more of generation.


Iowa was ranked first in wind generation, with 24.5% generation from wind energy. South Dakota was a close second with 23.9% generation from wind energy. North Dakota ranked third Minnesota closely followed, ranking fourth with over 14% wind energy generation. Kansas, which doubled its installation of wind power during 2012, jumped ahead to No. 5 position in wind generation, surpassing the 10% mark, reaching 11.4% generation from wind energy.

"We are generating enough clean, affordable, American wind energy to power the equivalent of almost 15 million homes, or the number in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio combined," continued Salerno.


The geographic diversity and abundance of American wind installations is a reflection of the United States' strong wind resource. In a 2010 study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported over 10 million MW of wind resource in the U.S., enough to power the equivalent of the nation's total electricity needs 10 times over. In fact, 25 states have enough wind potential to supply as much electricity as is currently generated from all energy sources in their state.


Texas, the state that uses the most electricity, relied on wind energy for 9.2% of the electrical generation last year on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power grid. The Lone Star State boasts more wind power than any other state, with more than 12,000 MW installed – over a fifth of the 60,000 MW in the United States at the end of last year.


Overall, the U.S. wind energy industry had its strongest year ever in 2012, installing a record 13,124 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity, leveraging $25 billion in private investment, and achieving over 60,000 MW of cumulative wind capacity.


In this historic year of achievement, wind energy for the first time became the number one source of new U.S. electric generating capacity, providing some 42 percent of all new generating capacity. Renewable energy as a whole accounted for over 55 percent of all new U.S. generating capacity in 2012.

 

 




AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.