The exciting trends we’re seeing show us that our federal policy has been working. However, our energy future is at a crossroads. Our common sense policy – the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) – expired on December 31st! I need to ask for your help to push your legislators to renew this important incentive.
Please take a look at this summary of where wind power stands today, and share it with your federal officials. Let them know that we need more predictable policy to keep this American success story going.
Here are the top trends we are seeing in U.S. wind power:
1. Wind power is reaching more American families.
During 2014, American wind power generated enough electricity for 16.7 million average American homes. With a record amount of wind power under construction today, and efforts moving forward to build new transmission infrastructure between windy, often remote locations and populated areas, American families are on track to have even greater opportunities to access to clean power.
2. Wind power is becoming more affordable.
The cost of wind energy dropped over 50% in the past five years, with the industry continuing to advance technology in several areas. Improved siting techniques, larger rotor diameters, and taller towers are increasing energy production across the country and making wind power a better fit for more places.
3. Wind power is employing Americans in every state.
2014 saw a rebound of the wind industry jobs that were lost due to policy uncertainty in 2013. The wind industry added 23,000 jobs, bringing the total to 73,000, spread across all 50 states. These jobs are directly associated with wind energy project planning, siting, development, construction, manufacturing, supply chain, and operations.
4. Wind power is in demand.
While other fuel source prices change, wind’s fuel price stays the same – free. An increasingly diverse group of purchasers are locking in stable energy prices by choosing wind power. About 75% of the agreements to purchase wind power in 2014 were with utility companies, and about 25% were with other entities – corporations, like Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, and Yahoo!, schools, including the University System of Maryland and Cornell University, and a federal government agency, the General Services Administration.
5. Wind power is providing significant water savings and carbon pollution reductions.
In 2014, we avoided 26.4 million cars worth of carbon pollution by generating electricity from wind power. Additionally, wind power generation reduced power plant water consumption by approximately 68 billion gallons, the equivalent of roughly 215 gallons per person in the U.S.
Please take a moment to share these updates with your federal legislators, and emphasize that you want to see these trends continue. With stable policy, the wind energy industry is positioned to achieve the growth described in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently released Wind Vision report – double within the next five years to supply 10% of U.S. electricity by 2020, 20% by 2030, and 35% by 2050.
Thank you in advance for your help! And, if you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into the wind energy numbers, please take a look at the executive summary of the 2014 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.