The United States broke a record in its capacity derived from wind turbine installations in 2020, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.
In both 2019 and 2020, project developers in the United States installed more wind power capacity than any other generation technology.
According to data recently released by the EIA in its Preliminary Monthly Inventory of Electric Generators, annual wind turbine capacity additions in the United States set an all-time high in 2020, totaling 14.2 gigawatts (GW).
With this, the United States surpassed the previous record of 13.2 GW added in 2012.
After this record year of wind turbine capacity additions, total wind turbine capacity in the United States is now 118 GW.
The impending elimination of the full value of the United States Production Tax Credit (PTC) by the end of 2020 primarily drove investments in wind turbine capacity that year, just as previous reductions in the tax credit led to significant wind capacity additions. in 2012 and 2019.
In December 2020, the US Congress extended the PTC for one more year.
Texas has the largest wind turbine capacity among the states – 30.2 GW were installed in December 2020.
In 2020, Texas generated more electricity from wind than the next three highest states (Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas) combined.
However, Texas generates and consumes more total electricity than any other state, and wind is still just under 20% of the state’s electricity generation mix.
In two other states, Iowa and Kansas, wind is the most common source of electricity generation in the state. In both states, wind surpassed coal as the state’s main source of electricity generation in 2019.
Nationwide, 8.4% of utility-scale electricity generation in 2020 came from wind turbines.
Many of the turbines added in late 2020 will contribute to increases in electricity generation from wind power in 2021.
The EIA expects the share of wind in electricity generation to increase to 10% in 2021.