The wind power industry is "booming," according to research firm IBISWorld, citing an average annual growth rate in revenue of 16.9 percent-- up to $6.9 billion-- in the five years to 2013, including anticipated growth of 8.6 percent in 2013.
Last year saw a lot of changes for coal as solar and wind generation hit record highs and prices declined. Installation of renewable energy capacity outpaced coal, oil, and nuclear growth combined. Nationwide, 30 percent of existing U.S. coal plants (158-- or more than 20 percent of the nation's coal power) is set to retire.
A proposal to add 750 MW of wind power capacity to Xcel Energy's Upper Midwest grid has been approved by Minnesota regulators. Four projects, representing a 42 percent increase in the company's wind power capacity in the Upper Midwest, were approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Canada's wind energy industry is well-positioned to build on its rapid growth and strong prospects for the next few years as provincial governments define the policy framework that will inform new electricity supply choices for the next decade.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is being urged by state Senators to invest in wind energy and lock in contracts while prices are at an all-time low. The call to NPPD came in the form of a letter signed by Senators Annette Dubas, Ken Haar, Russ Karpisek, Norm Wallman and Jim Scheer. The senators highlighted the potential for major economic development in Nebraska, specifically in rural districts, if NPPD makes investments in wind energy.
Despite a slowed growth rate, China will continue to be the largest wind power market in 2020, as it attempts to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing electricity production in rural areas, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The Iowa Utilities Board has approved MidAmerican Energy's recent request to move forward with the development of up to 1,050 MW of additional wind generation in the state by the end of 2015.
The United States continues to be one of the world's largest and fastest growing wind markets, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In fact, in 2012, wind energy became the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first time-- representing 43 percent of all new electric additions and accounting for $25 billion in U.S. investment.
Xcel Energy is seeking approval from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to add approximately 550 MW of new wind generation in Colorado between now and 2016, taking installed levels on Xcel's Colorado system to more than 2,700 MW.
Bison Wind Energy Center, which delivers renewable energy east to Minnesota across a dedicated transmission line, is complete. Under construction since 2010, Minnesota Power, a division of Allete, has installed 101 wind turbines producing 292 MW of renewable energy.