DOE: Wind power counts for 32% of new generation in 2011

The Energy Department (DOE) released a new report saying that 32 percent of all new generating capacity additions were from wind, accounting for 6,800 MW of new generation and $14 billion in new investment.

According to the 2011 Wind Technologies Market Report, the U.S. also built nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at U.S. projects, including towers, blades, gears and generators. That number is up from 35 percent in 2005.

By the end of 2011, U.S. wind power capacity was 47 GW and has since grown to 50 GW, the report said. The country’s cumulative installed wind energy capacity grew 16 percent from 2010, and has increased more than18-fold since 2000.  The report also finds that six states now meet more than 10 percent of their total electricity needs with wind power.

Wind project capital and maintenance costs continue to decline as technical innovation has helped to increase the efficiency of wind turbines. For new wind projects deployed last year, the price of wind under long-term power purchase contracts with utilities averaged 40 percent lower than in 2010 and about 50 percent lower than in 2009, making wind competitive with a range of wholesale power prices seen in 2011.

However, the report finds that 2013 may see a dramatic slowing of domestic wind energy deployment due in part to the possible expiration of federal renewable energy tax incentives, including the Production Tax Credit (PTC).

To download the full report, click here.

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