Wind energy generation rose 17% and constituted 3.5% of total U.S. electricity produced in 2012, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports.
Wind energy made up at least 10% of generation in nine states last year, up from five states in 2011, AWEA says, citing data from the Energy Information Administration. Iowa and South Dakota reached generation levels greater than 20% throughout 2012. In a total of 14 states, wind energy represented 5% or more of total generation.
Iowa ranked first in the percentage of electricity that came from wind power, with 24.5%. South Dakota was second, with 23.9% generation from wind energy, followed by North Dakota (14.7%), Minnesota (14.3%), Kansas (11.4%), Colorado (11.3%), Idaho (11.3%), Oklahoma (10.5%) and Oregon (10.0%).
According to AWEA, wind energy now powers the equivalent of almost 15 million U.S. homes.
(Note: The aforementioned statistics count megawatt-hours generated in a state for consumption in that state. For a state like California, which may be importing wind, these totals are lower than the total renewable energy used to comply with the state's renewable portfolio standard.)