Texas Passes California in US Wind Energy Leadership in Cleantech

Being a Texan who began his career in oil & gas and now works in cleantech and alternative energy, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a recent article quoting a quarterly report from the American Wind Energy Association.

The gist – Texas surpasses California for the most wind generation in the US – 2,370 MW. That’s just under a quarter of the total US 10,000 MW of wind generation.

I found this quote from the AWEA’s site fascinating: “It’s a historic moment. California has led the nation in installed wind capacity uninterruptedly for nearly 25 years, ever since the first wind farms were built there in late 1981, and at one time the Golden State was host to more than 80 percent of the wind capacity in the entire world.”

It obviously begs two questions:

What Texas done to enable developers to grow so quickly, and what has California done to lose its leadership?

Here’s the other quote from the AWEA site that I liked – basically, wind may have along way to go, but it is accelerating.

“The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates that slightly less than 10,000 MW of new natural gas plants will be brought online in 2006, and that less than 400 MW of new coal- and oil-fired generating plants will be added, making wind power second only to natural gas in new capacity and new power generation for the second year in a row.”

For people interested in more research – the AWEA has a good fact sheet on wind economics available as well.

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