U.S. Leads World in Wind Energy

Thar she blows!

Finally, a bit of good green news for our fair country: The United States leads the world in wind energy generation, taking the lead from previous champ Germany. U.S. turbines bested their Teutonic counterparts for the first half of 2008, and while American wind energy production has been on the rise, we weren't expected to pass Ol' Deutschland until sometime in 2009.

How did we pull ahead so quickly? Wind energy experts say it's because of our natural gifts: The U.S. simply has more and stronger winds than Germany.

Randall Swisher, the executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, said that “the difference is that because the winds are so much stronger here in the U.S. we are actually providing more wind-generated electricity than Germany.” He also said that the US “wind energy capacity is growing faster than anyplace else.”

But before we go patting ourselves on the back too much, we should realize that we still have a long way to go. Despite all the bluster, wind energy only accounts for 1.2 percent of our total electricity. Germany still destroys us in that category by gleaning 7 percent of their power from wind energy, but even they must bow down before the awesome blowing power of Denmark, who harness the wind for 20 percent of their total energy consumption.

This confirms it: We blow, but we could always blow harder.

— Ted Alvarez

USA is Now the World’s Largest Generator of Wind Energy (Green Blog)