The U.S. wind industry has past the 20,000-megawatt (MW) installed capacity milestone, achieving in two years what had previously taken more than two decades. Wind now provides 20,152 MW of electricity generating capacity in the U.S., producing enough electricity to serve 5.3 million American homes.
“Wind energy installations are well ahead of the curve for contributing 20% of the U.S. electric power supply by 2030 as envisioned by the U.S. Department of Energy,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher on Wednesday.
But the gorilla in the closet is the expiration of the federal production tax credit (PTC). The PTC is currently set to expire at the end of 2008, but is being tossed around as a political football in Washington D.C. as Congress is gridlocked in a battle over establishing a national energy policy.
The U.S. is now the world leader in wind electricity generation. While Germany has more generating capacity installed (about 23,000 MW), the U.S. is producing more electricity from wind because of its much stronger winds. AWEA expects over 7,500 MW of new wind capacity to be added in 2008, expanding America’s wind energy fleet by 45% and bringing total U.S. capacity to some 24,300 MW.
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