Lowest-Cost New Resource
Wind energy is reliable, abundant and affordable. In fact, wind energy was the lowest cost new energy resource in 2016 and offers a natural hedge against volatile fuel prices.
Powering America's Economy
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2016 Annual Market Report, the success of the U.S. wind industry has had a ripple effect on the American economy, supporting a jobs growth rate nine times faster than the overall economy. In 2016 there was a record high of more than 100,000 Americans employed in the wind industry with nearly 15,000 full-time jobs added in 2016 alone. By year-end 2016, the U.S. had 82,143 MW of total installed wind capacity, with more than 52,000 utility-scale wind turbines in operation. This amount of installed capacity could power up to 24 million average U.S. homes each year.
How wind works
Wind turbines are designed to capture the natural power of the wind in our atmosphere and convert it into electricity. People started utilizing wind power centuries ago by using windmills to pump water and grind grain. Today's wind turbine is a highly evolved version of a windmill. The electricity generated from a single wind turbine can power hundreds of homes. When the wind blows past a wind turbine, the blades capture the energy and begin to spin around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which in turn is connected to a generator that ultimately produces electricity.
American wind power saves consumers money. Adding wind energy to the generation mix reduces electricity prices, helps protect against future price shocks, and makes the energy market more competitive.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2016 Annual Market Report, between 2009 and 2016 the cost of wind energy has dropped 66%. These lower prices allow power purchasers to "lock-in" predictable, steady rates for the life of the power purchase contract, thereby allowing these companies to hedge against volatile, carbon-intensive fuel markets.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), wind power saved consumers at least $1 billion over just two days across the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic states during the 2014 "Polar Vortex" event.
benefitting the Environment
Unlike other sources of electricity that produce harmful emissions and contribute to global climate change, wind energy is a clean, pollution free energy source.
500 Times Less Water Usage
Wind energy saves water compared to other sources of power generation, as electricity produced by wind can take about 500 times less water than with traditional energy sources.