Rankings of states in wind power potential and capacity

Tops in wind potential*



1. North Dakota 1,210

2. Texas 1,190

3. Kansas 1,070

4. South Dakota 1,030

5. Montana 1,020

6. Nebraska 868

7. Wyoming 747

8. Oklahoma 725

9. Minnesota 657

10. Iowa 551

* As measured in billions of kilowatt hours

Source: An Assessment of the Available Windy Land Area and Wind Energy Potential in the Contiguous United States, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, 1991

Tops in wind capacity*

1. Texas 2,768

2. California 2,361

3. Iowa 936

4. Minnesota 895

5. Washington 818

* Installed capacity in megawatts, as of Dec. 31.

Source: American Wind Energy Association

The Des Moines Register offers these two lists which are good to see side by side, even though the units used in the rankings are different. As someone who has lived for some months in North Dakota, I can attest to the wind potential of the state. 

The most glaring gap between the two lists is how California is ahead in capacity, well beyond its potential, compared to Midwestern and Mountain states. Something similar happens with solar energy around the world. Japan and Germany are some of the leaders in installed capacity but are not the places with more potential in insolation per hour.

This tells us that a determined policy and a stable framework where actors can operate is the key to sustained growth.

Explore posts in the same categories: Wind energy

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