Wind is Growing — Had Its Third Strongest Year Ever in 2019

Photo: American Wind Energy Association

The American Wind Energy Association announced on Thursday that wind power developers experienced their third-best year in 2019, adding 9,143 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity to the grid—enough to power over three million American homes.  And next year is bound to be another one for big growth because there are another 44,000 MW of wind projects – representing over $62 billion in investment – under construction or far along in the development process, and offshore wind is booming with six states pledging to build 6,300 MW of new offshore wind projects.

Why This Matters:  No matter how much President Trump tries to knock it, wind power is a big part of our energy future.  The demand for wind power was up 20% last year, growing both in the residential sector with utilities buying an increasing share of wind power, and in the business and industrial sector, with companies like Walmart and AT&T buying more wind power.  Indeed, corporate buyers accounted for 40% of annual wind energy contracts last year for a total of 3,640 MW. Some big corporations signed contracts for the first time — and some of them might surprise you — such as the oil and gas company Baker Hughes, make up giant Esteé Lauder, and the largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonald’s.  The head of the industry association summed up the year this way — the industry is “entering the new decade with the wind, literally at [their] backs.”

Wind By the Numbers – Texas and Iowa Lead the Way  

The industry report breaks down the growth, but in total, the industry added 55 projects across 19 states in 2019, and there are dozens more projects in the pipeline (bad pun).

U.S. Annual and Cumulative Wind Power Capacity Growth        Graph: American Wind Energy Association

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