An introduction to the state of wind power in the U.S.

By Philip Warburg, Yale Climate Connections

As a non-carbon-emitting technology, wind power has a big environmental advantage over its leading fossil fuel competitors. Onshore and offshore wind has a life cycle carbon footprint of 20 grams or less of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. The “cleanest” natural gas power plants – those that use combined cycle technology – produce more than 400 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Supercritical coal plants – the least polluting in the industry – generate close to 800 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour.

While attractive to many who see climate change as a real and immediate threat, wind power has developed much of its momentum in relatively conservative rural states [see Table 1]. In 2018, 13 states in the nation’s interior region accounted for more than 80% of new wind capacity additions. Read more here.

Philip Warburg, an environmental lawyer, is former president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

ADDITIONAL WIND ENERGY RESOURCES

Nebraska Data

American Wind Energy Association Fact Sheets

State Fact Sheets
Learn the top wind energy facts about each state by using the interactive map or downloading a state-specific PDF. Updated July 2019

Corporate Purchaser Fact Sheet
Major brands are choosing wind power as a cost-competitive source. Read quotes from the top companies buying wind.

Radar and Airspace Fact Sheet
Wind farms can and do co-exist with military facilities, while promoting our energy independence, national security and military operations.

Wind Energy and Sound Fact Sheet
Wind turbine noise may be one of the most easily misunderstood issues related to wind energy projects.

Transmission Fact Sheet
Power lines move electrons from where they are generated to where they are used. Our grid needs attention to keep reliably delivering electricity.

Wildlife Fact Sheet
Researchers routinely find that wind energy has one of the lowest impacts on wildlife and their habitats of any utility-scale power source.

Wind Energy & Tariffs
Recent tariffs levied by the Trump administration will have a harmful effect on the U.S. wind industry.

Wind Energy Tariffs & Job Impacts
Learn more about how potential tariffs from the administration could impact American jobs.

Offshore Wind Energy
U.S. offshore wind is taking shape in waters off the coast across the country. Learn more about the abundant potential of this new ocean energy resource.

Federal Tax Policy
Tax policy can be an important driver that prompts private investment, benefits the U.S. economy and creates new jobs.

UPCOMING EVENT

The Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference is a two-day event that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders from Nebraska and across the country to share the latest information and innovations in wind and solar. Shaped by volunteers from state agencies, farmer and rancher organizations, public power utilities, the renewable energy industry, and academia – the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference aims to present accurate and objective information pertaining to all aspects of wind and solar development.

Links to More Information