According to a market forecast prepared by the American Wind Energy Association, wind power generating capacity increased 27% to 11,603 MW in 2006 and is expected to increase an additional 26% in 2007.
‘iPods, flat screen televisions and other highly sought technologies are creating a demand for electricity that is beginning to eclipse our current supply,’ says Randall Swisher, executive director of AWEA. ‘Wind is a proven, cost-effective source of energy that also alleviates global warming and enhances our nation's energy security.’
The forecast indicates the U.S. wind energy industry installed 2,454 MW of new generating capacity in 2006, an investment of approximately $4 billion, making wind energy the second largest source of new power generation in the country behind natural gas.
AWEA's industry outlook also found that:
– Texas accounted for nearly a third of the new wind power installed in 2006,
– new utility-scale turbines were installed in a total of 20 states across the country and
– the top five states in new installations were Texas (774 MW), Washington (428 MW), California (212 MW), New York (185 MW) and Minnesota (150 MW).