Wind energy was the big winner of 2020, accounting for the single largest segment of new energy capacity added in the US.
Governments around the world are looking at climate-friendly energy options in a desperate attempt to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. Wind, solar and nuclear are some of the most popular options, but wind is clearly gaining major traction in the US.
According to a report by the Department of Energy (DOE), “more wind energy was installed in 2020 than any other energy source, accounting for 42% of new U.S. capacity. The U.S. wind industry supports 116,800 jobs.”
More than 10% of in-state electricity was generated by wind in 16 states, with the Midwest benefiting the most. Iowa saw 57% of its electricity generated by wind power, while Kansas, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota all got at least 30% of their electricity from wind energy.
One of the big factors driving wind energy’s adoption is reduced cost, thanks to improved technology. Wind turbine prices have dropped “from $1,800/kW in 2008 to $770–$850 per kilowatt (kW) now.”
The DOE’s report is good news for the future of environmentally friendly energy.