With over 1,600 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity installed during the third quarter of 2015, and nearly 3,600 MW installed in all of 2015, wind power continues to gain strength.
The American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2015 Market Report shows the market for low-cost wind energy continues to expand, with both Fortune 500 companies and American cities choosing to cut carbon pollution and cut costs with American wind power.
“We are on the cusp of greatness,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “There are over $20 billion worth of wind farms under construction right now, creating well-paying jobs and spurring economic development in rural communities across the country. This growth is in jeopardy however, as continued policy uncertainty could throw the wind industry off yet another economic cliff.”
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted in May by a strong bipartisan margin of 23-3 for a “tax extenders” package that includes an extension of the primary federal tax incentives for expanding renewable electricity generation. However, Congress has yet to pass the bill, leaving the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit in doubt and making it extremely difficult to plan further investments in wind energy. Wind projects under construction currently are due to the start construction extension of the Production Tax Credit at the end of 2014.
For the year, the U.S. wind energy industry has installed more than double the MW installed during the first three quarters of 2014, according to AWEA’s market report. There is now over 69,470 MW of installed wind capacity across the U.S. – edging closer to the 70 gigawatt (GW) threshold. A near-record of more than 13,250 MW of wind capacity is under construction in the U.S., with an additional 4,100 MW in advanced stages of development.