Wind Takes Renewable Power Crown From Hydro in U.S.
By Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post
A $13.8 billion investment in new turbines pushed the country’s wind power generating capacity ahead of hydropower last year, according to a report released Monday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Wind generation supplied 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity last year, up from 4.7 percent in 2015, according to the EIA. In five states — Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota — wind sources account for more than 20 percent of electricity generation.
“For these states, and across America, wind is welcome because it means jobs, investment, and a better tomorrow for rural communities,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association in a statement.
While Colorado isn’t in the 20-percent club it is close, with wind generating 17.3 percent of power last year. New wind farm installations, however, stalled last year. A 20 percent boost in the state’s wind-generating capacity is expected in late 2018 with the completion of Xcel Energy’s Rush Creek Wind Farm.
SE Alaska is close to 100% hydro. One or two more projects to be completed shortly and we’ll be there.