Wind energy grew at a record pace in 2008, according to a recent industry report.
The American Wind Energy Association reports that 8,358 megawatts of generating capacity were installed in 2008, a 50 percent jump from the previous year. The organization also reports that enough wind energy is generated in the U.S. to power seven million homes, or 25,170 megawatts in total.
According to the report, Washington is now fifth in the nation in wind production, with 1,375 megawatts. Texas is the leader at 7,116, followed by Iowa (2,790), California (2,517) and Minnesota (1,752). Oregon was also noted for becoming seventh in the nation as it passed 1,000 megawatts of wind generating capacity.
“The U.S. wind energy industry’s performance in 2008 confirms that wind is an economic and job creation dynamo, ready to deliver on the President’s call to double renewable energy production in three years,” said Denise Bode of the AWEA, going on to warn that a difficult economy in 2009 could set back the industry without prompt action on the renewable energy-friendly federal stimulus bill.
Out of last year’s combined new power-producing capacity, the AWEA says that wind accounted for 42 percent, resulting in 44 million tons of carbon emissions being saved.