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Showing posts from November, 2016

They Call the Wind Maria

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The U.S. Southeast, a wind power desert
Like the lovers of Paint Your Wagon's California gold miners, tapping the wind's energy remains more dream than reality in the U.S. Southeast. In the middle of this wind power desert is the operator of 5% of the nation's wind generation capacity -- estimated by the Energy Information Administration to total some 82 gigawats.   That is up from the more than 74 GWs of wind generation the EIA estimates were in operation at the end of 2015. During that year, wind facilities produced 190,927 gigawatthours (GWh) of electricity, accounting for 4.7% of net U.S. electric power generation.  This represents a doubling of wind's generation share since 2010, when the share was 2.3%. Based on monthly data through July, wind has provided 5.6% of U.S. generation in 2016. In 2015, 11 states generated at least 10% of their total electricity from wind.  As recently as 2010, only three states had at least a 10% wind share. Iowa had the largest wind gene…