In the first four years of Obama’s presidency American electricity generation from wind and solar power more than doubled. The administration’s Climate Action Plan stresses the importance of renewable wind energy as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, diversifies the energy economy, and develops innovative technologies. Obama’s has set a goal doubling current renewable electricity generation by 2020.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says, “The tremendous growth in the U.S. wind industry over the past few years underscores the importance of consistent policy that ensures America remains a leader in clean energy innovation. As the fastest growing source of power in the United States, wind is paving the way to a cleaner, more sustainable future that protects our air and water and provides affordable, clean renewable energy to more and more Americans.”
The Energy Department and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report says America’s total wind power capacity surpassed 60 GW at the end of 2012, which is enough electricity to power more than 15 million homes each year—or as many homes as in California and Washington state combined. Since 2000, the United States’ cumulative installed wind energy capacity has increased more than 22-fold.
According to the DOE, “Nine states now rely on wind power for more than 12 percent of their total annual electricity consumption – with wind power in Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas contributing more than 20 percent. Additionally, Texas added over 1,800 megawatts of wind power last year, more than any other state. On a cumulative basis, Texas remains a clear leader with over 12 GW installed at the end of 2012, more than twice as much as California, the next-highest state.”