Climate Decade in Review - Post 13: Wind Energy in US Grows Rapidly

August 2006 - Wind energy capacity in the United States reached 10,000 Megawatts (MW), enough to power 2.5 million homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Wind energy capacity at the beginning of the decade was about 2,500 MW, meaning that installed capacity quadrupled in six years. Wind energy was the fastest growing source of new electricity supply for the decade. By the end of the decade, total US installed wind capacity was approximately 35,000 MW--showing phenomenal growth of well over 30% per year.

Wind energy is one of the more attractive renewable energy options. Electricity generation from wind is entirely carbon free, and the growth of the wind industry during the 00's has helped bring prices down to be competitive with fossil fuel generation in many cases. Each kilowatt-hour of wind energy that replaces a kWh of coal-generated electricity reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than a pound. (A typical household will use 25-40 kWh per day of electricity.)

This is one in the series of "Climate Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.

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