It turns out that tapping into a free and abundant natural resource that exists everywhere is among the cleanest and most efficient ways of producing electricity. Investments and innovations over the past decade have brought wind’s costs down to their lowest levels ever — 66 percent cheaper than in 2009 — making wind power a mainstream source of reliable, affordable energy.
Over the past five years, the United States has more than tripled its wind-generating capacity, with wind representing 25 percent of new power generating capacity that came online. Wind also surpassed conventional hydropower as the largest renewable energy source by capacity.
Recent market trends show this impressive growth should continue in the years ahead, as wind has become the cheapest source of new electricity in many parts of the country.
Continued technological and manufacturing improvements also allow new turbines to reach stronger, steadier winds, meaning more electricity can be generated at a lower cost. As we continue adding new chapters to this American success story, let’s take stock of the state of U.S. wind power.