United States

Wind Energy in the United States

us.jpgIn 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.

National Targets

In the Wind Vision report, DOE analyzed a scenario finding it feasible for wind to supply 10% of national electricity demand by 2020, 20% by 2030, and 35% by 2050. DOE seeks cost  reductions in the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from utility-scale, land-based wind to 0.052 USD/kWh (0.043 EUR/kWh), without incentives, by 2020, and to 0.031 USD/kWh (0.026 EUR/kWh) by 2030. Similarly, fixed-bottom, offshore wind power cost reduction goals are to achieve 0.149 USD/kWh (0.12 EUR/kWh) by 2020 and 0.093 USD/kWh (0.078 EUR/kWh) by 2030.

Operational Details

Policy, demand, wind resources, and infrastructure drove state-level wind power gains in 2017. Nearly all (91%) newly-installed wind power capacity occurred in the Midwest (30%), Plains (21%), Mountain West (20%), and Texas (20%). Texas continued to lead all states in wind power capacity additions (2,305 MW) and cumulative installed capacity (22,599 MW). Oklahoma surpassed Iowa to become the second-ranked state in the nation, with wind power capacity additions of 851 MW and cumulative installed capacity of 7,495 MW, thanks to Oklahoma’s abundant wind resources, five-year property tax exemption for wind farm sites and, until its July 2017 expiration, a tax credit for zero-emission electricity production.

National R,D&D Priorities & Budget

In 2017, DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office focused on enabling and accelerating widespread deployment of clean, affordable, and reliable wind power in the United States. This office promotes national security, economic growth, and environmental quality through technology R&D, testing and demonstration, and deployment efforts.

Congress allocated 90 million USD (75.0 million EUR) to DOE in fiscal year 2017 for wind energy research. DOE also announced 18.5 million (15.4 million EUR) for an offshore wind R&D consortium to target offshore wind power cost reductions.