According to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association, wind energy in the United States is now equivalent to the power of 11 nuclear power plants or 44 coal-fired plants, and has the ability to power about 13 million homes. That’s enough to power the residences in Nevada, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, and Alabama combined. Pretty impressive.
Wind energy advocates have said a major reason for the boost is the Production Tax Credit, which allows wind farm operators a 2.2 cent per-year credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. It is set to expire this year, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is, unsurprisingly, opposed to extending the tax credit. He’s facing a heap of criticism in Iowa as a result of it.
“Right now, the Midwest is experiencing and intense drought, and the wind turbines are producing revenue for farmers, while the crops are not,” said Rob Hach, owner of Anemometry Specialists, an Iowa-based wind company.
2.8 GW of wind power have been added so far this year, and since 2008, the United States has doubled its total wind energy capacity. Here’s to hoping the politics are taken out of clean energy and leaders on both sides see the benefits of these hiking numbers.
Image CC licensed Payton Chung: Wind turbines on U.S. Midwest farmland