Forecast Dims for Future Growth in Wind Power

Despite a recent report trumpeting a record year for wind power in 2012, the numbers are not as encouraging as they seem.

Because even though total wind power capacity grew by 30 percent last year, with 13,000 megawatts in new wind turbines, the actual portion of our electricity coming from wind energy did not increase proportionally. Also, the forecast for future growth in the next few years is not robust, which means wind power will not keep up with the faster growing use of natural gas.

According to newly released data from the Energy Information Administration, about 140 terrawatt-hours of our electricity — enough to power over 12 million homes — came from wind power last year, up about 17 percent from 2011. But overall, wind power contributed only about 3.5 percent of all the electricity generated in the U.S. last year, up from 2.9 percent of the share in 2011.

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