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Wind turbines stand on the prairie at sunset.

Wind Energy Continues Rapid Growth in 2016

Kansas ranks third in the nation in percentage of electricity generated from wind.

The Energy Department recently released three wind market reports, demonstrating continued growth in wind energy nationwide. America’s wind industry added more than 8,200MW of capacity last year, representing 27% of all energy capacity additions in 2016. In fact, wind supplied about 6% of U.S. electricity in 2016, and 14 states now get more than 10% of their electricity from wind. The reports cover the following market sectors: land-based utility scale, offshore, and distributed wind.

Kansas ranked third nationwide (behind Iowa and South Dakota) in the percentage of in-state generation of electricity from wind at 29.6%. Kansas ranked fourth nationwide (behind Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa) in annual installed capacity with 687MW of utility-scale wind energy added in 2016. Kansas ranks fifth nationwide in cumulative installed capacity with 4,451MW of utility-scale wind.

Wind power capacity in the United States experienced strong growth in 2016. Recent and projected near-term growth is supported by the industry’s primary federal incentive — the production tax credit (PTC) — as well as myriad state-level policies. Wind additions have also been driven by improvements in the cost and performance of wind power technologies, yielding low power sales prices for utility, corporate, and other purchasers. At the same time, the prospects for growth beyond the current PTC cycle remain uncertain, given declining federal tax support, expectations for low natural gas prices, and modest electricity demand growth.

View the following reports as well as see key findings from each:

2016 Wind Technologies Market Report by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

2016 Distributed Wind Market Report by the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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