Monday, February 02, 2009

Wind Energy Grows By Record 8,300 MW in 2008

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the U.S. wind energy industry shattered all previous records in 2008 by installing 8,358 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity (enough to serve over 2 million homes. The growth in 2008 expanded the nation’s total wind power generating capacity by 50%. The new wind projects will avoid nearly 44 million tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking over 7 million cars off of the road. In all, wind energy generating capacity in the U.S. now stands at 25,170 MW, producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of close to 7 million households.

Iowa, with 2,790 MW installed, surpassed California (2,517 MW) in wind power generating capacity moving into second place behind Texas (7,116 MW) . Minnesota, with 1,752 MW and Washington, with 1,375 MW round out the top five states in terms of capacity installed. Colorado and now Oregon have both moved into the group of states with more than 1,000 MW installed, which now counts seven states.

About 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today, up from 50,000 a year ago, and hold jobs in areas as varied as turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more. About 8,000 of these jobs are construction jobs. The share of domestically manufactured wind turbine components has grown from under 30% in 2005 to about 50% in 2008. State-by state installation information.

Source: Frank Maisano

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