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. Thatâ€™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. Heâ€™s facing a heap of criticism in Iowa as a result of it.
â€œRight now, the Midwest is experiencing and intense drought, and the wind turbines are producing revenue for farmers, while the crops are not,â€ 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. Hereâ€™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