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Wind energy keeps breaking records – in Denmark and here at home

(Photo of wind turbine in Denmark from Flickr user Marcello using a Creative Commons license)
Wind energy keeps breaking records – in Denmark and here at home
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Wind power generated 140 percent of Denmark’s electricity demand recently, allowing it to export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden, according to The Guardian. Wind power here at home has broken records this year as well, as shown in our newly updated map below.

In May, the Bonneville Power Administration, which provides power to nearly 13 million people in the Pacific Northwest, generated over 42 percent of its power from wind energy alone. Just a month before that, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) generated over 36 percent of its power from wind energy. And in March, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages about 90 percent of Texas’s electric load, generated over 40 percent of its power from wind.

We also recently learned about a record on the main Colorado power system, where wind energy met 61.1 percent of the electricity demand last November, setting a new record for a U.S. power system.

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These records show that large amounts of wind energy can be reliability integrated today. U.S. wind energy already provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of over 18 million homes. For all of 2014, Iowa and South Dakota reliably produced more than 25 percent of their electricity from wind. A recent report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined studies by grid operators and other experts, which have unanimously found that wind energy can reliably provide at least 24 to 50 percent of our electricity.

For more background on how wind energy is reliably integrated onto the power system, see our February report here.

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Shauna Theel is the Deputy Director of Digital Media at the American Wind Energy Association. She oversees AWEA's digital media content and strategy, ensuring that the message of clean, affordable, and American wind power is heard loud and clear across media platforms. Prior to joining AWEA, she worked at the watchdog group Media Matters for America for four years. As the Climate and Energy Program Director at Media Matters, she oversaw the group's rapid response communications, long-term research analyses, and outreach efforts related to energy and environmental policy. In this role, she served as the public face of the team, giving interviews to press outlets, and giving presentations everywhere from Capitol Hill to the National Press Club. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Science.

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