U.S. oil states leading in wind power

Texas leads the nation in new installations of wind energy, federal report finds.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 23, 2016 at 9:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- Some of the top oil-producing states in the nation are behind a rise in new electricity generated from wind, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports.

An electricity distribution report from the EIA finds wind power accounted for 41 percent of all new electric generation capacity last year.

According to the World Wind Energy Association, China and the United States combine for more than 70 percent of the global market for small-scale wind energy installations. China got a head start in the sector with a launch in the early 1980s, while, despite fits and starts, the United States is "well ahead" of its peer economies.

EIA said wind energy developments ebbed and flowed in response to uncertainty surrounding federal tax credits supporting the industry. Installations have increased since 2014 and the industry report finds that trend should continue through the rest of this year.

On a state-by-state basis, EIA found Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and North Dakota were leading the way in terms of new installations. Three of those states -- Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota -- are oil-rich states facing economic pressures for a slumping energy market.

EIA said those five states are in the central part of the United States, where wind currents are the most supportive to energy development. Texas added the most wind capacity of any state last year.

Last week, the U.S. government announced it was opening up about 81,000 acres of federal waters off the coast of New York for potential large-scale wind energy operations. The country has no offshore wind energy components in commercial operations.

The federal U.S. government said the cost of wind power is moving closer to parity with conventional energy resources.

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