That breeze you feel blowing through your hair as you step out the door may be the same breeze that powers the lights in your home, heats your water or recharges your smartphone. Wind energy is a viable energy source, and it’s becoming more prevalent every single day.
This article will take a deeper look at the current wind power market, how large it is, where most of the power is generated and also offer you suggestions on how you can add wind power to your current energy usage.
So if you’re ready to see the wind that blows through your hair in a whole new light, let’s begin.
Understanding the power of wind
Simply put, wind power in today’s energy economy is small, but it’s growing all the time. According to WindEnergyFoundation.org, “Wind power comprised more than 41 percent of all new U.S. electric capacity additions in 2015, representing $14.7 billion in new investment.” And that trend shows no signs of slowing down. To date there are currently 559 wind manufacturing sites in the United States, and they generate considerable power. In fact, a single turbine from one of these sites converts enough wind into electricity to power 500 homes. The wind energy market continues to grow by 8-10 percent per year. However, the system is still in its infant stages when compared to traditional fossil fuels.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal and natural gas account for about two-thirds of all electricity generation in the United States. The final third is comprised of several energy sources — though nuclear energy (20 percent) plays the central role. Wind alone totals about 4.7 percent but, as we discussed, that number is growing every single year.
Which states produce the most wind power
When it comes to which states lead in wind power generation, the trend skews overwhelmingly toward large states in the center of the country.
Texas leads the nation with a production of 6,527,850 GWh/yr, far ahead of second-place Kansas’s total of 3,646,590. The top 10 is rounded out with Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
States responsible for the least wind generation are predominantly located in the southeast — such as Mississippi, Florida and Kentucky — or small New England states like Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Adding wind power to your home
For people concerned about their environmental footprint, investing in energy resources that include wind-generated electricity is naturally appealing.
The surefire solution of course is to install a wind turbine on your property. Such a step supports green energy generation as well as your own energy independence. It may also be a source of revenue, depending on where you live.
The Wind Energy Foundation website offers a comprehensive guide on what is required to install such a turbine and how it will benefit you. The guide also provides helpful information on possible government financial support that may be available for your turbine project.
If such a turbine is not possible on your property and you live in a deregulated energy market, you are not without solutions to support wind energy. Many power providers in a deregulated market provide information on how much of their electricity comes from green energy sources. Some providers may even generate all of their electricity from green energy sources. Having this information allows you to determine which energy provider to choose. Make wind energy part of your electricity decision and you’ll not only be more satisfied with your purchase, you will ultimately influence the market toward a greener, more wind-dependent energy market in the future.