US Wind Power on the Rise

Published on 20th August 2018

Wind power in the US has expanded rapidly as the total installed capacity in the country tripled in the last decade alone. Falling prices and technology innovation, along with government support, enabled the breakneck expansion. The average price of wind power is now at 2 cents per kWh—a significant fall from 9 cents in 2009. 


In recent years, the industry has expanded onshore with much bigger and powerful turbines making it feasible to extract wind energy in places with less desirable conditions. 


Texas is by far the leader in the US wind power market boasting a total installed capacity of about 22.6 GW, including about 2 GW newly installed in 2017. 


Government’s support for the wind power industry in terms of Federal Production Tax Credit has been an important driver in the expansion of onshore wind power capacity. Although the government scheme is due for phase-out in 2020, the industry has attracted a lot of new players in recent years trying to reap the benefits of government support before they are gone. 


The industry has also benefitted from larger and powerful wind turbines in land-based wind farms. The rotors have gotten larger, blades longer, turbines taller, drastically increasing turbine capacity as a result. 


Along with the above developments, the US offshore wind power takeoff has also been a highlight of the industry. Currently, thirteen states have offshore wind projects in the pipeline or have shown willingness to open for leasing.


The US currently trails the UK, Germany, and China in offshore wind. But offshore wind projects are becoming attractive because of their proximity to a large segment of the US population. 

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