In 2017, federal and state policies, market demand, and falling costs drove wind industry growth in the United States. Research and development supported cost reductions and technology advancements and addressed market barriers. As a result, the U.S. wind industry added 7,017 megawatts (MW), and cumulative utility-scale capacity grew to 88,973 MW across 41 states and two territories. This represents 16% of global wind power capacity and enough electricity to power 24 million American homes. Wind now supplies 6.3% of the country’s electricity demand. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Vision scenario found it feasible for wind to supply 10% of national electricity demand by 2020.
Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma meet 30% of their electricity needs with wind energy and 14 states meet at least 10% of their electricity needs with wind. Traditional utilities and commercial and industrial customers demonstrated strong demand for power purchase agreements, contributing to the nearly 5,500 MW of new wind agreements signed in 2017.
To learn more about wind energy in the U.S., please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2017 Annual Report.