Annual Wind Data and Trends Released for Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind

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September 22, 2021

Annual Wind Market Reports Highlight Record Growth in Wind Power Installations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released three market reports showing record growth in U.S. wind energy over the past year. The annually updated data track installations, technologies, costs, prices, incentives, and performance for three wind energy market sectors—land-based utility scale, offshore, and distributed.

Wind farm at sunset.

In 2020, wind energy was the largest source of U.S. electric-generating capacity additions, accounting for 42% of new capacity. Here’s a summary of key findings for each report:

Land-Based Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Utility-scale land-based wind power in the United States grew at a record pace in 2020. New land-based wind capacity totaled 16,836 megawatts (MW) and represented $24.6 billion of investment. Wind turbines continued to grow in size and power, with the average nameplate capacity of newly installed wind turbines at 2.75 MW—up 8% from 2019. This year’s report also includes a new assessment of the health and climate benefits of wind.

Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The U.S. offshore wind pipeline grew 24% over the past year, with 35,324 MW now in various stages of development, including 42 MW in operation. There are 15 projects in the U.S. offshore wind pipeline that have reached the permitting phase and eight states with offshore wind energy procurement goals totaling 39,298 MW by 2040. Turbine sizes continue to grow, with average rotor diameters exceeding 150 meters and turbine capacities of more than 7.5 MW. New trends also emerged, including increased interest in offshore wind to produce clean hydrogen.

Distributed Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The U.S. distributed wind sector—which includes power from wind turbines installed near where the power will be used—added 14.7 MW of new distributed wind capacity across 11 states. This capacity represents $41 million in investment and brings total installed capacity to 1,055 MW from more than 87,000 wind turbines across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. U.S.-based manufacturers of small wind turbines (100 kW or less) accounted for 71% of domestic small wind sales capacity in 2020.

Check out our Top 10 blogs for more fun facts about wind power, distributed wind, or offshore wind!

DOE Partners on Sea Grant Liaison to Connect Communities to Info and Research on Offshore Wind Energy Development

The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Rhode Island Sea Grant have partnered to create a new Offshore Wind Liaison, who will connect community stakeholders to information resources and research about offshore wind energy development. By providing information, supporting technical assistance, and sharing valuable resources, the Liaison will help empower communities to engage in offshore wind energy development decisions. The position is part of NOAA’s collaboration with other federal agencies on six new liaison positions intended to connect communities with federally funded research and information on a range of topics.