Growth of Wind Power Production Slows in U.S.

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U.S. wind power production grew just 5.1 percent in 2015, the smallest year-to-year growth since 1999, the Department of Energy said Thursday.

The agency attributed the sparse increase in wind power production to low wind speeds during the first half of last year.

“Three states in the Pacific Census division – California, Oregon and Washington – saw decreases in wind generation in 2015, as did most of the states in the Mountain Census division,” DOE said. “Meanwhile, all but one of the 12 states in the Midwest region saw increases in generation.”   

The U.S. produced 191 terawatthours (TWH) of power in 2015, accounting for 4.7 percent of net generation. That’s up from 4.4 percent in 2014. Behind hydropower, wind was the second largest source of renewable power in 2015. What’s more, 11 states produced more than 10 percent of their power from wind.

More than 8,000 MW of wind power capacity were installed last year. That’s nearly 13 percent above capacity additions in 2014, the DOE said. As a result, total wind power capacity in the U.S. has risen to 73,000 MW. 

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