WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Energy Department today released three wind market reports demonstrating continued growth in wind energy nationwide. America’s wind industry added more than 8,200 megawatts (MW) of capacity last year, representing 27 percent of all energy capacity additions in 2016. In 2016, wind supplied about 6 percent of U.S. electricity, and 14 states now get more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind. The reports cover the following market sectors: land-based utility scale, offshore, and distributedwind.
Wind power capacity in the United States experienced strong growth in 2016. Recent and projected near-term growth is supported by the industry’s primary federal incentive—the production tax credit (PTC)—as well as myriad state-level policies. Wind additions have also been driven by improvements in the cost and performance of wind power technologies, yielding low power sales prices for utility, corporate, and other purchasers. At the same time, the prospects for growth beyond the current PTC cycle remain uncertain, given declining federal tax support, expectations for low natural gas prices, and modest electricity demand growth.
“The wind industry continues to install significant amounts of new capacity, and supplied about 6 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2016,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons. “As our reports explain, a combination of federal subsidies, state mandates, and technological advancements continue to help drive new wind capacity additions.”
Key findings from the 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:
Key findings from the 2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory:
Key findings from the 2016 Distributed Wind Market Report by the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory:
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, American wind energy almost doubled from about 120 million megawatt hours generated in 2011 to more than 226 million megawatt hours in 2016, which represents about 6 percent of U.S. electricity generation. For more information on these three new reports, including infographics and blogs, visit energy.gov/windreport. Learn more about wind turbines in this Energy 101 video.