United States

United States

Wind becomes biggest renewables source in US

For the first time, wind energy has surpassed hydro in 2019 to become the US’s top renewable source of electricity, according to new data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Wind is now the biggest source of renewable electricity generation in the US (pic: Starwood Energy)
Wind is now the biggest source of renewable electricity generation in the US (pic: Starwood Energy)

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Annual wind generation last year was some 300TWh, exceeding hydroelectric generation by 26TWh, the agency said.

Wind generation has increased steadily during the past decade, in part because the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which drove wind capacity additions, was repeatedly extended. Wind costs have also been decreasing.

US hydroelectric generation, meanwhile, has fluctuated between 250TWh and 320TWh. This reflects a stable capacity base but the variable annual precipitation has dropped significantly since 2017.

"The past decade saw a steady increase in wind capacity across the country and we capped the decade with a monumental achievement for the industry in reaching more than 100GW," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

"With all of that capacity in the ground, wind projects were able to deliver 7.2% of the nation's electricity in 2019."

Kiernan noted the industry's investment of $62 billion in new projects over the next few years should put wind energy on the path to achieving 20% of the US's electricity mix in 2030.

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