President Obama has made clear that clean, renewable wind energy is
a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that aims to
develop more secure, domestic energy sources, while strengthening
According to the 2011 Wind Technologies
Market Report, Illinois is one the country's largest and fastest
growing wind markets, ranking second among all U.S. states in new
wind power capacity. The report finds that in 2011, Illinois
installed 692 megawatts of new wind power capacity, bringing its
total to over 2,700 MW, or enough to power about 680,000 homes.
"This report shows that America can lead the world in the global
race to manufacture and deploy clean energy technologies," said
Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The wind industry employs tens of
thousands of American workers and has played a key role in helping
to more than double wind power over the last four years. To ensure
that this industry continues to stay competitive, President Obama
has called on Congress to extend the successful clean energy tax
credits, which are benefiting businesses and manufacturers
Nationally, wind power represented a remarkable 32 percent of all
new electric capacity additions in the United States last year and
accounted for $14 billion in new investment. According the report,
the percentage of wind equipment made in America also increased
dramatically. Nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at U.S.
wind farms last year -- including wind turbines and components like
towers, blades, gears and generators -- is now from domestic
manufacturers, doubling from 35 percent in 2005. For an interactive
map of manufacturing facilities across the U.S., including those in
The report also finds that in 2011, roughly 6,800 megawatts of
new wind power capacity was added to the U.S. grid, a 31 percent
increase from 2010 installations. The United States' wind power
capacity reached 47,000 MW by the end of 2011 and has since grown to
50,000 MW -- enough electricity to power 13 million homes annually,
or as many homes as in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia,
Alabama and Connecticut combined. The country's cumulative installed
wind energy capacity grew 16 percent from 2010 and has increased
more than 18-fold since 2000.
The growth in the industry has also led directly to more American
jobs throughout a number of sectors and at factories across the
country. According to
industry estimates, the wind sector employs 75,000 American
workers, including workers at manufacturing facilities up and down
the supply chain, as well as engineers and construction workers who
build and operate the wind farms. In Illinois alone, the industry
supported 5,000 to 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2010.
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Technical innovation allowing for larger wind turbines with
longer, lighter blades has steadily improved wind turbine
performance and increased the efficiency of power generation from
wind energy. At the same time, wind project capital and maintenance
costs continue to decline, driving U.S. manufacturing
competitiveness on the global market. For new wind projects deployed
last year, the price of wind under long-term power purchase
contracts with utilities averaged 40 percent lower than in 2010 and
about 50 percent lower than in 2009, making wind competitive with a
range of wholesale power prices seen in 2011.
Despite these recent technical and infrastructure improvements
and continued growth in 2012, the report finds that 2013 may see a
dramatic slowing of domestic wind energy deployment, due in part to
the possible expiration of federal renewable energy tax incentives.
The production tax credit, or PTC, which provides an important
tax credit to wind producers in the United States and has helped
drive the industry's growth, is set to expire at the end of this
year. The wind industry projects that 37,000 jobs could be lost if
this tax credit expires.
Working in tandem with the production tax credit, the advanced
energy manufacturing tax credit provides a 30 percent investment
credit to manufacturers who invest in capital equipment to make
components for clean energy projects in the United States.
President Obama has called for an extension of these successful
tax credits to ensure America leads the world in manufacturing the
clean energy technologies of the future.
For the full annual report and underlying data produced by the
Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
[Text from file received from the
U.S. Department of Energy]