Global Wind Energy Capacity Grows 19% in 2012

purple wind webWind energy generators provided the largest share of additions (12,620 MW) to the total U.S. electric generation capacity in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  Marking the highest annual wind capacity installment ever reported to the EIA, wind energy capacity additions even outpaced those of natural gas, which led capacity additions in 2010 and 2011. Much (40%) of the total 2012 wind capacity additions (some 59 new projects) came online in December 2012, just before the scheduled expiration of the wind production tax credit (PTC). (On Jan.1, 2013, Congress enacted a one-year extension of the PTC and relaxed the rules.) The four leading states for wind energy installations in 2012 were California (1,789 MW), Kansas (1,447 MW), Texas (1,504 MW) and Oklahoma (1,382 MW).  Most wind turbines were installed last year in the midwestern and southern Great Plains regions. These regions enjoy high-potential wind resources, proximity to existing and planned transmission lines and low population density, reducing siting and permitting challenges. Of all existing capacity, wind energy currently makes up 5.4% of all generation sources in the U.S.


  • The energy economy is the foundation of the U.S. economy. The crude oil and natural gas industry contributes more than $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, or more than seven percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. And it supports more than nine million jobs. (
  • An area of the sun’s surface the size of a postage stamp shines with the power of 1,500,000 candles, and all the coal, oil, gas, and wood on Earth would only keep the sun burning for a few days. (
  • There are approximately 121,446 gas stations in the U.S. and 82.2 percent of them have convenience stores. Gas stations employ close to a million employees (926,792) with an annual payroll of $13 billion. (
  • Fracking, while possibly significantly increasing America’s level of energy independence and helping transition us to a lower-carbon future, is included in the second largest sector in terms of greenhouse emissions. One of its major components, methane, is a highly potent greenhouse gas. (
  • U.S. homes built in 2000 and later consume only 2% more energy on average than homes built prior to 2000, despite being on average 30% larger, according to analysis from EIA’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). (

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