The United States increased its wind capacity by 50% in 2008 to 23,500 MW, and now has the most installed wind power capacity in the world, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) who released its 2008 industry report today.
Of that, Iowa now produces the second most in the nation, overtaking California for the number two spot. Texas is number one.
Overall, wind provides enough energy to power 7 million homes. Wind power is projected to provide 20% of US energy by 2030, according to the trade organisation. It also reports 85,000 people work in the wind industry now, as compared to 50,000 a year ago. These jobs include project development, turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines and more.
It appears as though the rapid growth of the wind industry will fall for 2009. The AWEA anticipates just 5,000MW of wind energy to be commisioned for 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2008, there was 4,313 MW brought online in the U.S. Luckily, the Obama administration has policies in place that will help foster further growth of the industry.
GE turbines installed 43% of all new capacity in the US for the year. Vesta installed 13%, Siemens and Suzlon installed 9% and Gamesa installed 7%. Acciona, REPower, Fuhrlander, DeWind and AWE all entered the U.S. market in 2008.
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