Wind Generation Records & Turbine Productivity
Wind energy is increasing in the U.S. with over 61,000 MW of operating assets. The percent of electricity from wind energy in certain regions, on certain days, has now exceeded 60% on the Xcel Energy system. Nationwide, wind energy provided 4.13% of U.S. electricity generation during 2013.
Wind Energy Percent of Generation by State, Annually for 2013
On a year-round basis, wind energy is producing over 20% of the electricity in certain states - South Dakota and Iowa. At the end of 2013, there were 17 states producing over 5% of their electricity from wind energy and nine states producing over 12% of their electricity from wind energy.
Wind Energy Generation, by State
Chart Source: AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2013, Forthcoming
Date Source: Energy Information Administration Electric Power Monthly
Wind Energy Records by RTO/ISO
Chart Source: AWEA
Increasing Productivity of Wind Turbines
- Over the past five years, U.S. wind energy capacity grew from 25,000 megawatts (MW) to over 61,000 MW, a 140 percent growth rate, yet electricity generated from these wind turbines grew at a rate of 200 percent, exceeding capacity growth and making wind energy cheaper than ever.
- The increasing performance and production of wind turbines is the result of technological innovation and operational improvements, which has effectively driven down the costs and allowed development to occur in lower wind speed regions.
- Advancements undertaken by manufacturers include designing taller towers and turbines with longer and lighter blades allowing rotor diameters to exceed 100 meters, larger than the wingspan of the largest commercial jets.
- Tower heights have also grown steadily in the last five years, allowing developers to access higher, steadier wind resources. A decade ago, the average wind turbine was installed on a 65 meter tower. Today, the average wind turbine sits atop an 80 meter tower, but 85 and 100 meter towers are increasingly utilized