Wind Generation Share Passes 10 Percent in 11 States
By Editors of Power Engineering
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported 11 states now generate 10 percent or more of their total electricity from wind in 2015.
The top wind generator by total share of the grid was, by far, Iowa at 31 percent. South Dakota was second at 25 percent and Kansas at 24 percent.
Though most of the top wind-generating states were in the Midwest, Oregon, North Dakota and Maine also made the list.
Texas, the top wind-generating state by output, just missed the list as the area’s wind energy consists of 9.9 percent of their total. EIA estimates Texas and New Mexico should reach a 10 percent wind generation share for 2016.
Wind energy for the U.S. as a whole reached a 4.7 percent share in 2015 and is expected to reach 5.6 percent for 2016. Wind’s share of total U.S. electricity generation has risen every year since 2001.
Total wind generation in 2015 reached 190,927 GWh.
EIA attributed the increase to a combination of improving technology and government policy changes. Right now 29 states have renewable portfolio standards, and eight more have renewable portfolio goals.
Hydropower is the only other renewable energy source to approach that share, as it made up of at least 10 percent of electricity generation in 10 states in 2015. Hydropower provided two-thirds of Washington’s generation.