Eleven states now use wind to meet more than 10% of their electricity needs. Two more – Texas and New Mexico – are on track to exceed this benchmark in 2016.
Overall, Iowa generated almost one-third (31%) of its electricity needs using wind power in 2015 – a bigger share than any other state. South Dakota (25%) and Kansas (24%) came in 2nd and third. Rounding out the list were:
- Oklahoma (18%)
- North Dakota (18%)
- Minnesota (17%)
- Idaho (16%)
- Vermont (15%)
- Colorado (14%)
- Oregon (11%)
- Maine (10%)
Texas barely missed this cutoff in 2015 with 9.9% of its total electricity generation being supplied by wind power. However, the Lone Star State still maintains its lead as the highest wind electricity-producing state in the nation. All told, Texas is home to 24% of the nation’s total wind generation.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, the increase of wind power’s role in the United States has been driven by changes in both technology and policy.
For example, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require a minimum percentage of their electricity generation to come from renewable energy sources. All of the states who now supply more than 10% of their power generation using wind have adopted RPS policies, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
On a national scale, wind supplied 4.7% of the country’s electricity in 2015 and is currently on track to provide 5.6% of U.S. electricity in 2016. Wind’s share of national electricity generation has increased every year since 2001 – more than doubling over the past five years.