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Wind Generation Met 4.4% of US Electricity Demand in 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday released its 2014 report on wind technologies, showing that the United States added 4,854 megawatts of new wind capacity for a total investment of $8.3 billion. Total U.S. wind-generating capacity grew to 65,900 megawatts, up about 8% above the total at the end of 2013. The 2014 total is enough to generate power for more than 17.5 million homes.

Additions to the country’s wind-generation capacity accounted for 24% of all U.S. electricity-generating capacity in 2014 and 4.9% of end-use electricity demand for the year. Since 2007, additions to wind-generation capacity has accounted for a third of all U.S. capacity additions.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • Turbine nameplate capacity of newly installed turbines was 1.9 megawatts, up 172% since 1998 to 1999.
  • The average height of newly installed turbines was 82.7 meters (about 271 feet), a 48% increase since 1998 to 1999, and the average rotor diameter has increased 108% in the same period to over 325 feet. Some 80% of new rotors have diameters of 100 meters or more.
  • Wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) have reached all-time lows of 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Since 2009, when prices topped out at nearly seven cents per kWh, the price per kWh has declined by 66%.
  • According to the report, the U.S. wind industry supports more than 73,000 jobs, representing a 30% job market increase over 2013.
  • New utility-scale turbines were installed in 19 states. Texas led the country with new installed capacity of 1,811 megawatts and also leads with 14,098 megawatts of total installed capacity.
  • Iowa generated 28.5% of its electricity from wind energy in 2014, the most of any state, followed by South Dakota (25.3% of total generation) and Kansas (21.7%).
  • General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) captured 60% of the U.S. market in 2014, followed by Siemens (26%) and Vestas Wind Systems.

Here is a link to the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report.

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By Paul Ausick


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