Wind Power Proves Resilient

Despite a sluggish economy and stagnant politics, wind power is thriving. This news is welcomed by proponents and financial markets alike as renewable energy continues to provide economic opportunity at a time when conventional energy simply hasn’t.
According to the American Wind Energy Association's First Quarter Market Report, capacity installed and placed under construction in the first three months of 2011 is enough to power 1.4 million homes. Projects spread across 12 states have added 1,118 MW, bringing the national total to 41,400 MW.  Across 26 states, 850 MW of new construction was initiated over the last three months.

Illinois, Idaho and Nebraska rank among the top five states for installed capacity in 2011. This progress is notable, as these states haven’t always succeeded at taking full advantage of the vast resources at their disposal. These three states also experienced some of the fastest recent growth, with Nebraska, at 38% growth, just ahead of Idaho at 33.6% and Illinois at 11.7%.

Minnesota and Washington continue to add to already impressive portfolios. Despite ranking fourth among all states in installed capacity, Minnesota enjoyed a remarkable 13.3% of additional capacity. Washington added 151 MW. Wind capacity in Hawaii grew by 47.5%.

The industry has made pronounced gains in a depressed economy because wind power offers economic opportunity and creates jobs. The industry thrives because Americans understand that oil isn’t the answer – neither is coal, nuclear energy or natural gas. Instead, the clean, safe, and affordable solution is in our own back yard.

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