What does wind power mean for America?
Wind power made in the USA is a clean, abundant and affordable part of our energy supply. Polls have found that nearly nine out of 10 voters – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – believe increasing the amount of energy the nation gets from wind is a good idea. Here’s why:
Snapshot of the wind industry
- In 2012, wind became the No. 1 source of new U.S. electric generating capacity.
- Wind energy produced 3.5 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2012. That’s enough to power the equivalent of over 15 million homes.
Wind power creates jobs & helps farmers
- American wind power supports 80,000 full-time jobs. That’s partly due to all the wind energy manufacturing in the country. Nearly 70 percent of a wind turbine’s value is made by America’s over 550 wind turbine factories.
- Wind turbines offer farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners the chance to plant a new cash crop on their properties.
Wind power saves consumers money
- Adding wind energy to our energy source options reduces electricity prices.
- Wind energy has zero fuel costs, so it protects consumers from volatile fossil fuel prices.
Wind power boosts the economy
- The cost of producing wind power is dropping year by year.
- Adding wind energy to the generation mix makes the energy market more competitive.
- American wind power adds tens of billions of dollars a year to the U.S. economy.
Wind power is good for the environment
- Wind power has the lowest environmental impact of any utility-scale electricity source, and it reduces the threat of climate change.
- Currently installed wind power will avoid nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – nearly 2 percent of the country’s carbon footprint.
- Because wind power uses virtually no water to make electricity (unlike other power sources), in 2012 American wind power generation conserved more than 30 billion gallons of fresh water, or 130 gallons per person.
Wind power policy
The wind production tax credit (PTC) powered $25 billion in private investment in U.S. wind farms in 2012. Twenty-nine states have standards for production of renewable energy. With policies like these, wind power can grow to supply 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030 and support 500,000 American jobs.