photo © 2009 Chuck Coker | more info (via: Wylio)
Iowa (2), Minnesota (6), Illinois (7), and North Dakota (10) represent four of the top ten wind producing states in existing generating capacity (MW). Texas ranked first by a wide margin.
Wind power generation utilizes wind turbines to convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. According to the Department of Energy, wind power is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. The website offshorewind.biz said that wind power represented 40% of all new U.S. electric generation capacity.
The benefits of this fast-rising source of renewable energy are more than simply electricity, it also means jobs:
Wind energy manufacturing continued to grow in 2009. The largest expansion was in the manufacture of utility-scale wind turbine subcomponents, such as bearings, electrical components, and hydraulic systems. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), 39 new manufacturing facilities were opened, announced or expanded in 2009.
The United States now has more than 200 facilities manufacturing wind energy equipment, including facilities from nine different wind turbine manufacturers, 20 operating tower manufacturing facilities, and 13 blade manufacturing facilities. U.S. manufacturers provided more than half of the new turbines installed in 2009 and approximately 46% of the new wind generation capacity installed.
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