Wind Energy now the top Source of Renewable Electricity in America

For the first time in history, wind turbines created more electricity than the longtime renewable champ, hydroelectric dams in the USA

Wind Top Renewable

In 2019, the United States generated about 4.1 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. According to new figures from the US Energy Information Administration, 63 percent is still generated by fossil fuels, while 20 percent is generated by nuclear power plants. And roughly 18 percent is now generated by renewable resources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power from dams and other water-generated power plants. In the renewable energy sector, which is surging and is predicted to be meet nearly 40 percent of the US energy market within the next three decades, wind is the one that is breezing to the front of the pack. For the first time in history, wind turbines created more electricity than the longtime renewable champ, hydroelectric dams.

“The past decade saw a steady increase in wind capacity across the country and we capped the decade with a monumental achievement for the industry in reaching more than 100 GW,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “With all of that capacity in the ground wind projects were able to deliver 7.2 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2019. That means US wind farms can power over 32 million homes from close to 60,000 wind turbines spinning across 41 states. The industry is proud to provide consumers with clean, affordable power that keeps utility costs stable and avoids carbon emissions contributing to climate change.

Added Kiernan, “And more wind energy is coming, as the industry is well into investing USD 62 billion in new projects over the next few years that put us on the path to achieving 20 percent of the nation’s electricity mix in 2030. As a result, wind is positioned to remain the largest renewable energy generator in the country for the foreseeable future.”

This strong wind power growth has been fuelled in part by the Production Tax Credit (PTC), as well as new technology that has made blades and engines more lightweight and efficient. Electricity generated by the mills can now be stored in batteries or fed into grids, so there’s plenty of power leftover from a windy day to tide over the doldrums. 

Solar power on the other hand still trails behind, contributing less than 2 percent to the nations’ commercial electricity grid. But it, too, is a fast-growing industry, employing about 242,000 people and generating tens of billions of dollars of economic value.  

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for