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Wind Energy's Rise: The Numbers Behind a Milestone-Setting Year

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Solar energy wasn't the only renewable that had details of a milestone-setting 2013 revealed this week.

Wind power checked in this week, too, as the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released data regarding the nation's wind generation last year. Wind energy is now the fifth-largest electricity source in the U.S., providing 4.13 percent of the nation's power.

Graphic credit: American Wind Energy Association

“Wind energy continues to make inroads as a major contributor to the U.S. power mix,” Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA's vice president of industry data and analysis, said in a statement. “The electricity generated by American wind power has more than tripled since 2008 not only due to significant growth in new wind projects but also technology innovation leading to more productive wind turbines.”

Graphic credit: American Wind Energy Association

According to AWEA, wind has accounted for 30 percent of all new generating capacity in the U.S. for the last five years. Several individual states experienced high points in 2013, including:

  • In Iowa and South Dakota, wind energy exceeds 25 percent of electricity production. Wind provided more than 12 percent in nine states and more than 5 percent in 17 states.

  • Texas generated more than 35.9 million megawatt-hours of wind, which is enough to power 3.3 million homes.

  • The top states for installed wind capacity all set records in 2013 for the amount of electricity generated. Texas, Iowa, California, and Oklahoma each generated enough electricity to power more than 1 million American homes.

Graphic credit: American Wind Energy Association

Collectively, all renewable energy sources now deliver about 13 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

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