The U.S. now has more than 83,000 wind turbines in use to generate electrical power for homes and businesses in all 50 states.
The U.S. Department of Energy released its annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices and performance through the end of 2018.
“Onshore wind energy installation continues to grow across the country, and this Administration has proven that we can pursue renewable energy advancements and deployment, particularly wind energy resources, which are predicted to surpass other sources of renewable power generation this year,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “And with over 25 gigawatts in the development pipeline, U.S. offshore wind is poised to be a significant part of our comprehensive energy portfolio in the coming years.”
The utility-scale land-based wind sector had another strong year with 7,588 megawatts (MW) installed during 2018, accompanied by record low costs and prices. The U.S. distributed wind sector now stands at 1,127 MW from over 83,000 wind turbines across all 50 states. And the U.S. offshore wind industry has a pipeline of 25,824 MW in various stages of development.
The 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found the following:
- The U.S. wind industry installed 7,588 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to over 96 gigawatts (GW).
- Wind industry employment is at an all-time high, supporting 114,000 jobs.
- In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with nearly 25 GW of wind capacity, while California, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma have more than 5 GW.
- Wind energy provides 6.5% of the nation’s electricity, more than 10% of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30% in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
- The trend of installing wind turbines that are larger and more powerful continued in 2018.
- The price of wind energy being sold in long-term contracts is at an all-time low. Wind power purchase agreement (PPA) prices are below 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, driven by a combination of higher capacity factors, declining turbine prices and operating costs, low interest rates, and the production tax credit.
New utility-scale wind turbines were installed in 20 states in 2018. Texas once again installed the most new
wind capacity of any state, adding 2,359 MW. Other leading states—in terms of new capacity—included Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, and Illinois.
On a cumulative basis, Texas remained the clear leader, with 24,895 MW installed at the end of 2018—almost
three times as much as the next-highest state (Iowa, with 8,421 MW). In fact, Texas has more wind capacity
than all but four countries (including the United States). States distantly following Texas in cumulative installed capacity include Iowa and Oklahoma (both with more than 8,000 MW), as well as California and Kansas (both with more than 5,000 MW). Thirty-five states, plus Puerto Rico, had more than 100 MW of wind
capacity as of the end of 2018, with 26 of these above 500 MW.