American wind power has been growing rapidly in recent years and is benefitting the consumer and the environment also. Consumers in some states that produce more electricity from renewable sources pay less on their electricity bills than the states that produce less amount of electricity from renewable sources. Wind energy is one of the cleanest renewable energy sources of electricity production. These benefits will grow day by day as the US is tapping this source of renewable more and more.
The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2016 is on in New Orleans, where wind power executives and scientists are saying with continued advancements in research, technology and lower costs it has shown – wind power electricity generation will maintain its current pace and will supply 10% of US electricity by 2020.
The extension of the wind production tax credit by the US government is being matched by state-level policy, corporate, and other non-utility buyers who are all aiming to cut carbon pollution. But the most important factor is “this political stability must hold for the country’s wind power sector to achieve its full potential.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of the AWEA says “We’ve built an American success story that creates jobs, cuts carbon pollution, and cuts costs for American consumers. To continue this success by installing at least eight gigawatts a year through 2020. This will also give employment to 80,000 more people.”
For maintaining the present pace of wind power growth in America, another key element is the power transmission infrastructure. Construction of long-distance power lines to transfer electricity from states which are rich in the wind to the areas which are not. With the continuous advancement in wind turbine technology, the costs have reduced to less than two-third as compared to ten years ago. But the industry leaders have recognized and taking strong efforts to cut the costs further.
With big corporate buyers like General Motors and Wal-Mart, some of the major cities and universities showing keen interest and ready to enter purchase power agreement (PPA), the wind power is getting a further boost. It is significant to note major brands and other non-utility customers have already signed 52%, or 2,074 megawatts (MW), of the wind power capacity, contracted through power purchase agreements (PPA) in 2015, as informed by AWEA. At present, there is enough wind power installed in 40 states to supply electricity to approximately 20 million American households.
“Wind is winning,” says Chris Brown, President of Vestas America, and recently-elected board chair of AWEA. “While our fuel is free, our customers know the machines converting it into electricity aren’t free”.