U.S. behind China in wind power energy

Jan. 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- China has surpassed the United States in electricity production from wind power, a U.S. trade group says.

The American Wind Energy Association says China's total capacity to create electricity from its wind turbine installations increased 62 percent from the beginning of 2010 to 41,800 megawatts, while American-based turbines can put out 40,180 megawatts, a 15 percent increase in the same time frame, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The association said the U.S. wind market ended 2010 with 5,115 megawatts of new installations, just half of the record amount put up in 2009.

As 2011 began, about 5,600 megawatts of wind power capacity was under construction, the trade group said.

The association blamed short-lived government subsidies, but said a year's extension of a federal grant program in December is benefiting the industry.

"Our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more," Denise Bode, the group's chief executive, said in a statement.

To date, 38 U.S. states have built utility-scale wind projects, with Texas at the top with 10,085 megawatts of capacity.

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