Wind-power consumption rises as nation’s overall energy use drops

By Zack Colman

The Hill

Wind power posted the greatest gain in domestic energy consumption in 2011 as overall energy use dropped, according to an analysis by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Energy consumption from wind power rose 27 percent in 2011 to 1.17 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units), up from 0.92 in 2010, LLNL said, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

Energy consumption from wind could rise in 2012 as well, as newly installed electricity capacity increased 40 percent in the third quarter compared with 2011, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced last week.

“Wind energy jumped significantly because, as in previous years, many new wind farms came online,” A.J. Simon, an LLNL energy systems analyst, said Wednesday in a statement. “This is the result of sustained investment in wind power.”

But AWEA says investment already is falling off for 2013, with the fate of an industry tax credit hanging in the balance.


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