U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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Learn About Wind

Six utility-scale wind turbines in a row at sunset. The sky is varying hues of orange and the sun is halfway past the horizon.

Wind power comes in many sizes. Here, several utility-scale Alstom wind turbines are installed in a row to harness a greater amount of power from the wind. Photo courtesy of Alstom

By the beginning of 2015, the United States had installed 66 gigawatts of wind—enough to power 18 million homes. Wind power makes up 4% of the nation's electricity mix, but in states like Iowa and South Dakota, wind power fills over 25% of their electricity needs.

In 2015, the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office released the Wind Vision Report , which takes America’s current installed wind power capacity across all facets of wind energy (land-based, offshore, and distributed) as its baseline and assesses the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits of a scenario where U.S. wind power supplies 10% of the nation’s electrical demand in 2020, 20% in 2030, and 35% in 2050. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Wind energy is available nationwide. The Wind Vision Report shows that wind can be a viable source of renewable electricity in all 50 states by 2050.
  • Wind supports a strong domestic supply chain. Wind has the potential to support over 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050.
  • Wind deployment increases community revenues. Local communities will be able to collect additional tax revenue from land lease payments and property taxes, reaching $3.2 billion annually by 2050.
  • Wind is affordable. As wind generation agreements typically provide 20 year fixed pricing, the electric utility sector is anticipated to be less sensitive to volatility in natural gas and coal fuel prices with more wind. By reducing national vulnerability to price spikes and supply disruptions with long-term pricing, wind is anticipated to save consumers $280 billion by 2050.

Learn about how wind energy generates power; where the best wind resources are; how you can own, host, partner with, and support wind power; and how and where wind energy has increased over the past decade.

What Is Wind Power?

Learn about how wind energy generates power, about wind turbine sizes and how wind turbines work, and how wind energy can be used. Also read examples of financial and business decisions.

Where Is Wind Power?

Go to maps to see the wind resource for utility-, community-, and residential-scale wind development. Or, see how much energy wind projects are producing.

How Do I Get Wind Power?

Learn how you can own, host, partner with, and support wind power projects.

U.S. Installed Wind Capacity

See how wind power has increased over the past decade.