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Wind power continues to grow as source of American electricity

In Iowa and South Dakota, more than one-quarter of electricity is sourced from instate wind turbines.

By Brooks Hays
Three of six wind turbines of the Somerset Wind Farm are shown on a mountain ridge on June 19, 2012 near Somerset, Pennsylvania. The wind farm has been operational since 2001 and the six GE 1.5 MW turbines produce enough electricity for 3,400 homes. Plans to develop a 30-turbine Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm nearby were scrapped on June 12, 2012 due to environmental and resident concerns. Wind power has expanded in the United States over the past decade and is now about 3 per cent of all electric power in the country. UPI/Pat Benic | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/ad4ba9a8d7e5a711d35906fb7212d857/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Three of six wind turbines of the Somerset Wind Farm are shown on a mountain ridge on June 19, 2012 near Somerset, Pennsylvania. The wind farm has been operational since 2001 and the six GE 1.5 MW turbines produce enough electricity for 3,400 homes. Plans to develop a 30-turbine Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm nearby were scrapped on June 12, 2012 due to environmental and resident concerns. Wind power has expanded in the United States over the past decade and is now about 3 per cent of all electric power in the country. UPI/Pat Benic | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- According to the latest numbers from the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy, wind power is the fifth largest electricity source in the U.S., and accounts for nearly one-third of all new electricity capacity created over the last five years.

In Iowa and South Dakota, more than one-quarter of electricity is sourced from instate wind turbines.

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“Wind energy continues to make inroads as a major contributor to the US power mix,” Elizabeth Salerno, vice president of data analysis for the American Wind Energy Association, told CleanTechnica. “The electricity generated by American wind power has more than tripled since 2008 not only due to significant growth in new wind projects but also technology innovation leading to more productive wind turbines.”

Earlier this week, President Obama revealed his 2015 budget proposal, which included millions of dollars in renewable energy investments. The president and his administration have regularly pledged their commitment to growing wind energy technology via economic incentives and research grants.

In addition to federal investments, Obama also wants Congress to make the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent, while slashing subsidies for the oil and gas industries.

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“The United States remains the global leader in energy, science and security, building on its longstanding commitment to innovation,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement following Obama's budget unveiling. “The President’s budget request for the Department of Energy sustains this commitment for future generations -- in clean energy, in frontier scientific discovery, and in global nuclear security.”

[CleanTechnica] [Department of Energy]

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