Good news on the wind energy front: new statistics from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) show that previous estimates of U.S. wind power resources actually underestimated the amount of energy available. The new statistics estimate that onshore wind power could generate 37,000,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) each year–nine times the amount of energy required to power the country. NREL also ranked the top 10 states with the highest wind potential as follows:
Top 10 wind potential states
State MW of wind turbines GWh each year of wind power Texas 1,901,530 6,527,850 Kansas 952,371 3,646,590 Montana 944,004 3,228,620 Nebraska 917,999 3,540,370 South Dakota 882,412 3,411,690 North Dakota 770,196 2,983,750 Iowa 570,714 2,026,340 Wyoming 552,073 1,944,340 Oklahoma 516,822 1,788,910 New Mexico 492,083 1,644,970
We still have a long way to go before the U.S. meets its full wind power potential. The country currently has an installed capacity of 35 GW, but its total potential is over 10,000 GW. In other words, it’s time to start building.