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U.S. wind power industry breaks records

Jan. 17, 2008 at 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. wind energy industry installed 5,244 megawatts in 2007, breaking all records.

The American Wind Energy Association said the industry expanded the nation's total wind power generating capacity by 45 percent in one year and invested more than $9 billion into the economy.

New wind projects account for about 30 percent of the all new power-producing capacity added in 2007 and will power the equivalent of 1.5 million American households. Wind power also helps to reduce global-warming emissions.

"This is the third consecutive year of record-setting growth, establishing wind power as one of the largest sources of new electricity supply for the country," said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. "This remarkable and accelerating growth is driven by strong demand, favorable economics, and a period of welcome relief from the on-again, off-again, boom-and-bust, cycle of the federal production tax credit for wind power."

Installations in the last quarter of 2007 alone surpassed the amount installed in all of 2006.

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