The Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019, released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), is a key report that captures and quantifies the clean energy transformation underway in the United States. For readers of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, the findings of AWEA’s annual report provide additional dimensions and analysis of the progress of wind power in the United States.
Today, as the country is facing the public health, social, and economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to recognize that energy is essential infrastructure. It is the backbone that enables communities to support first responders, hospitals, homes and critical buildings.
“Affordable, reliable energy is not a luxury - it’s a necessity,” Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO
To borrow a term from today’s reality of remote work operations, the AWEA report “zooms” in on an important segment of the renewable energy sector in America, and complements the 2020 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which “zooms” out and takes a broader look at the U.S. clean energy portfolio of energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and presents a progress report over the past decade. Both are excellent resources to gain a clearer picture the U.S. electricity mix, and to understand the valuable contributions of clean energy.
Top take-aways from the Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019 include:
- Wind is now America’s #1 renewable energy source, providing 7 percent of all U.S. electricity. The U.S. has enough installed wind capacity to power 32 million homes.
- Wind power tops 100 gigawatts - U.S. wind power experienced its third-strongest year on record in 2019, increasing capacity over 9 percent to 105,583 MW.
- Iowa and Kansas both generate over 40% of their electricity production from wind power. Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Maine all rely on wind to generate 20% or more of their electricity.
- In 2019, wind power delivered over $1.6 billion a year in state and local tax payments and landowner lease payments.
- Today, the U.S. wind industry employs a record 120,000 people across all 50 states. This marks an increase of 6,000 more jobs than 2018.
- Wind power is one of the few industries creating new American manufacturing jobs. As of 2019, over 530 U.S. factories across 43 states build wind turbine components, employing over 26,000 Americans.
- Wind is now the most affordable source of new electricity throughout much of the country.