Facts About Wind Power
*The above information was obtained from the American Wind Energy Association’s website (www.awea.org).
- Wind is the least expensive of all renewable energy sources. The price of electricity generated by modern wind farms has declined by 80% from about $0.38 per kilowatt hour in 1980 to about $0.05 to $0.10 per kilowatt hour today, now making wind competitive with traditional sources of electricity such as coal, nuclear, and natural gas.
- Wind energy is naturally variable but not unreliable. Wind farms are built in windy areas where seasonal and daily wind generation patterns can be anticipated.
- By June 2009, 31,109 MW of wind power was installed in the U.S. – enough to power about 8.7 million average American homes, avoid the emissions of 57 million tons of carbon dioxide annually and reduce emissions from the electricity sector by 2.5%.
- By the end of 2008, wind provided 1.25% of electricity in the U.S. and could provide up to 20% by 2030 with proper development and financial and infrastructure investment.
- The wind industry supported about 85,000 jobs by the end of 2008, up from 50,000 jobs the year before.
- A single 1-MW turbine can displace 1,800 tons of carbon dioxide in one year that would have otherwise been emitted from a fossil-fueled power plant. This is equivalent to the environmental benefit of planting one square mile of forest.