The Department of Energy recently released three reports showing record growth in land-based wind energy, a growing number of offshore wind projects, and the continuing reduction in the cost of wind power.
The U.S. installed a record amount of land-based wind energy in 2020. In total, 16,836 MW of new utility-scale land-based wind power capacity was added during the year, representing $24.6 billion in new wind power projects. This was more added than from any other energy source and represented 42% of new U.S. energy capacity.
For the year, wind energy provided more than 10% of in-state electricity generation in 16 states. Notably, wind provided 57% of Iowa’s electricity and more than 30% in Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
As wind turbines continue to grow in size and power, they are producing more energy at lower cost. Turbine prices have gone from $1,800/kW in 2008 to $770-850/kW now.
The pipeline for U.S. offshore wind energy projects has grown to 35,324 MW, a 24% increase over the previous year. The Bureau of Ocean Management created five new wind energy areas in the New York Bight with a total of 9,800 MW of capacity.
Distributed wind power, which are systems connected on the customer’s side of the power meter as opposed to those on the utility side, also saw increased growth last year.
Wind power is a key element in the adminstration’s goal of having a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035.
Photo, posted March 24, 2016, courtesy of Adam Dingley via Flickr.