Which US States are Producing the Most Wind Vitality?


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“Meteoric” is one way to describe wind energy’s rise to the top of America’s renewable energy industry. Amid repeated calls from scientists and activists to undertake measures to curb global warming, lawmakers, politicians, and the energy industry have responded.

Foremost in that effort is the call for carbon-free energy production via alternative energy sources like wind and solar. Many states have followed suit, with governors from coast to coast implementing wide-ranging initiatives meant to gradually reduce the carbon footprint of power generation in the coming years.

Wind generation is at the leading edge of the movement toward clean energy production. Fields of wind turbines across the country have slowly started to increase their proportion of total energy production. And just this year, President Joe Biden announced measures meant to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy.

While US offshore wind production currently lags behind that of other developed nations, its onshore capacity is second only to China. Wind energy’s share of total utility-scale electricity generation in the US grew from less than 1% in 1990 to over 8% last year.

In 2019, more than $13 billion was invested in wind power. The amount of new generation capacity added to the nation’s electrical grids through wind projects was greater than all other sources except natural gas.

Driving the investment may be the fact that it’s far cheaper to install wind farms than it is to build hydroelectric plants and solar farms. Alongside the value, the federal government subsidized wind construction with tax credits.

The result? Wind generation exceeded hydroelectric power for the first time in 2019.

Renewable Energy Sources Compared

While tax credits and reasonable construction costs have increased wind’s popularity, perhaps its greatest advantage is availability.

Wind regularly barrels across the Midwest and the Texas-Oklahoma border at average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. This is a key speed range, as turbines reach their rated generation capacity when winds hit 26 to 30 miles per hour.

This explains why the Midwest and the West South Central region are home to the top wind-generated electricity producers in the nation. Texas leads the nation in total wind energy production, generating more than twice as much wind electricity as the next state.

And while the Lone Star State’s wind energy makes up a significant portion of its renewable energy generation (92%), Kansas’ renewable energy generation relies on wind more than any other state. Kansas’ wind turbines produce more than 99% of its renewable energy and 42% of its total.

Wind Energy by State

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The data used in this analysis is from the US Energy Information Administration. To determine the states producing the most wind energy, researchers at Commodity.com calculated each state’s annual wind energy production, measured in megawatt-hours.

Researchers also calculated the absolute change in wind energy production since 2010, wind’s share of total energy production, and wind’s share of total renewable energy production.

Here are the states producing the most wind energy.

States Producing the Most Wind Energy

Michigan Wind Power

15. Michigan

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 5,825,705
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 5,465,365
  • Wind share of total energy production: 5.0%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 58.7%
Wind Farm in Indiana seen during cloudy day.

14. Indiana

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 6,216,030
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 3,281,987
  • Wind share of total energy production: 6.1%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 85.7%
Wind Turbines On A Hill Along The Water; Dalles Oregon United States Of America

13. Oregon

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 6,568,889
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 2,648,882
  • Wind share of total energy production: 10.6%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 17.0%
A wind farm in the mountains of southern Washington as you enter the state from Oregon.

12. Washington

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 6,677,261
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 1,932,582
  • Wind share of total energy production: 6.3%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 9.0%
Wind powered water pump and wind turbines at ranch on Caprock Escarpment, Llano Estacado plateau, near San Jon, New Mexico, USA

11. New Mexico

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 6,892,087
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 5,059,905
  • Wind share of total energy production: 19.6%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 81.1%
Wind farm and wind turbine silhouette with clouds and sky in Great Plains region of southern Nebraska, USA

10. Nebraska

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 7,211,092
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 6,789,447
  • Wind share of total energy production: 19.3%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 83.2%

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Country Afternoon

9. Colorado

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 10,852,376
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 7,400,525
  • Wind share of total energy production: 19.3%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 77.3%
Minnesota Farmlands. Corn Lands and Wind Turbines. Agricultural Theme.

8. Minnesota

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 10,964,869
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 6,173,146
  • Wind share of total energy production: 18.5%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 75.8%
Wind turbines producing clean renewable energy in North Dakota.

7. North Dakota

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 11,213,025
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 7,117,384
  • Wind share of total energy production: 27.3%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 77.9%
Wind turbine in Indio California. Image shot 11/2013. Exact date unknown.

6. California

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 13,735,069
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 7,656,437
  • Wind share of total energy production: 6.8%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 14.1%
Kinsman, Illinois, USA. A long dirt driveway leads past crops on its way to a rural farmhouse and barn on a north central Illinois farm.

5. Illinois

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 14,459,597
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 10,005,963
  • Wind share of total energy production: 7.8%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 96.0%
Mammatus clouds and light over wind farm in rural Kansas

4. Kansas

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 21,123,539
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 17,718,474
  • Wind share of total energy production: 41.5%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 99.6%
Midwest Wind Turbine Power Generators

3. Iowa

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 26,304,990
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 17,134,653
  • Wind share of total energy production: 42.0%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 96.2%
Supercell storm with shelf cloud over wind turbines, Oklahoma, USA

2. Oklahoma

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 29,008,131
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 25,200,048
  • Wind share of total energy production: 34.0%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 87.2%

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Home of Texas Tech, Lubbock, Texas is also home to the Wind Energy Museum, where they show old wind mills and wind turbines

1. Texas

  • Annual wind energy production (MWh): 83,620,371
  • Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh): 57,368,961
  • Wind share of total energy production: 17.3%
  • Wind share of total renewable energy production: 92.0%

Detailed Findings and Methodology

The data used in this analysis is from the US Energy Information Administration’s Electricity Power Data.

To determine the states producing the most wind energy, researchers calculated the annual wind energy production, measured in megawatt-hours.

Researchers also calculated absolute change in wind energy production since 2010, wind’s share of total energy production, and wind’s share of total renewable energy production.