US Wind Energy Just Hit a Major Milestone

Xcel Energy's Rush Creek Wind Farm in Matheson, Colorado, is one of the largest in the US.
Xcel Energy's Rush Creek Wind Farm in Matheson, Colorado, is one of the largest in the US.

Analysis By Ella Nilsen, CNN

(CNN) The United States set a major renewable energy milestone last Tuesday: wind power was the second-highest source of electricity for the first time since the Energy Information Administration began gathering the data.

As E&E reporter Ben Storrow noted and the EIA confirmed, wind turbines last Tuesday generated over 2,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity, edging out electricity generated by nuclear and coal (but still trailing behind natural gas).
 
Last year, wind was the fourth-largest electricity source behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear, generating close to 380 terawatt-hours for the entire year, according to the EIA. For context, a terawatt is a thousand times bigger than a gigawatt.
 
Major milestone aside, wind energy in the US is still lagging behind one European country that recently broke a record of its own: Germany.
 
Although the US has more wind capacity by sheer numbers — it’s a larger country with a larger population — Germany is outpacing the US in terms of how much electricity it gets from wind. In February alone, windmills in Germany generated a record 20.6 terawatt-hours of wind energy, Rystad Energy reported Tuesday, which made up 45% of its total energy in February.
 
In 2020 — the most recent year the EIA has robust statistics for — Germany got 24% of its electricity from wind, compared to 8% in the US.
 
Read the full article, US Wind Energy Just Hit a Major, on CNN.

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