Climate Decade in Review - Post 32: US Wind Capacity Increases by 14 Times

From 1999 to 2009, US installed wind capacity increased 14 times. It stood at approximately 2500 Megawatts (MW) in 1999 and had grown to more than 35,000 MW by 2009. A megawatt is 1000 kilowatts or 1,000,000 watts. A typical large coal-powered generator generates about 1000 MW. Wind is the fastest growing electricity generation technology and is rapidly coming down in price. In some locations it is as cheap or cheaper than coal.

Its big advantage is its obvious one: tapping the wind requires no burning of fossil fuels and thus no greenhouse gas emissions. Wind is expected to continue growing rapidly through the next several decades and will become more and more a significant solution to reducing the carbon intensity of our electricity generation sector.

This is one in the series of "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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