Thanks to blow-hard winds, the United States has just become the world’s largest generator of wind energy.
Germany previously held this distinction, though since the United States has about 26 times more land than Germany, the milestone isn’t a huge surprise. Nonetheless, we weren’t expected to reach this point until late 2009.
“Our wind energy capacity is growing faster than anyplace else,” said Randall Swisher, the executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, the national trade organization for the wind energy industry. “So it’s no longer really alternative energy. This is very mainstream.”
During the first half of 2008, the United States, for the first time, generated more wind energy electricity than Germany, despite the fact that the smaller European country still has more turbines than we do.
Germany has enough turbines to collect about 22,000 to 23,000 megawatts of power, while the United States has a capacity of about 18,000 megawatts, Swisher said.
“The difference is that because the winds are so much stronger here in the U.S. we are actually providing more wind-generated electricity than Germany,” Swisher told LiveScience. “Our turbines are so much more productive that theirs.”
Though we are winning the race in terms of volume of wind energy produced, we are far behind when it comes to the proportion of our total energy we get from wind.
While wind currently supplies about 1.2 percent of the United States’ power, it accounts for about 7 percent of Germany’s total energy consumption. And the even-smaller country of Denmark gets roughly 20 percent of its energy form wind.
How refreshing to post something about alternative energy that is not solar!
I always thought solar would be the main deliverer of renewable energy. But Mr. T. Boone Pickens seems to think different.
It’s all fine with me. As long as my energy bills are coming down.