U.S. Wind Energy: Year in Review


"Wind energy made significant advances in 2010."

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently sent out a news release regarding the industry's 2010 successes and challenges. Of course, no lasting progress was made on a comprehensive national strategy to promote clean energy; but even despite this, wind energy made several significant advances in 2010 and continues to grow in popularity and use.

Here are some notable achievements:
  • The critical Section 1603 Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy was extended at the end of the year. This policy "is projected to increase wind project installations by roughly 50% each year," Bode noted.
  • Utility-scale wind energy supplied Iowa with 20% of its electricity in 2010, up from 14% in 2009.
  • Over 400 U.S. manufacturing plants now serve the wind industry, with plants located and creating jobs in every region of the country.
  • 14 states have installed over 1,000 MW of wind, and a total of 37 states now have at least some utility-scale wind power installed within their borders.
  • The Obama administration approved Cape Wind, the first offshore wind farm in the nation.
  • Google announced that it is investing in a massive offshore renewable electricity superhighway, "a project to build 350 miles of transmission off the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Virginia to tap into gigantic off-shore wind potential."
  • A Harris poll in October 2010 found 87% of Americans want more wind energy.
  • Wind energy can be bi-partisan. "President George W. Bush kicked off WINDPOWER 2010 in Dallas last May with a message of perseverance and determination, which rallied the crowd of over 20,000 to action and enthusiasm. The conference is now the largest energy show in the country and brought the ‘think tank' of the industry together, along with political leaders and corporate decision makers.

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