4 States Get Over 30 Percent of Power from Wind — Inside Climate News

Colorado Green, located between Springfield and Lamar, was Colorado’s first, large wind farm. Photo/Allen Best

From Inside Climate News (Nicholas Kusnetz):

Even though new U.S. wind power installations were down in 2017, wind energy is expected to pass hydro as the nation’s top renewable energy source this year.

A new report underscores that even as Republican leaders remain resistant or even hostile to action on climate change, their states and districts are adopting renewable energy at some of the fastest rates in the country.

Four states—Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota—now get more than 30 percent of their in-state electricity production from wind, according a new report by the American Wind Energy Association…

While the U.S. wind power industry continued to expand last year, however, its growth rate slowed, with 7 gigawatts of capacity added in 2017, down from more than 8 gigawatts added in 2016.

The slower growth likely was due in part to changes in tax credits. Developers could take full advantage of the federal Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit for wind energy through the end of 2016, but it began phasing down starting in 2017. And the governor of Oklahoma, the state with the second-highest wind power capacity, signed legislation in 2017 to end state tax incentives for the industry three years early amid a budget crisis…

But the total slice of renewables—which provide about 17 percent of the nation’s electricity—is far short of the energy transition experts say is needed to avoid dangerous warming. A paper last year by some of the world’s leading climate change experts said renewables need to make up 30 percent of the global electricity supply by 2020 in order to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Credit: American Wind Energy Association

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