Letter to the Editor: Wind power will grow

Don Brunell’s Feb. 18 commentary (“Answer not entirely ‘Blowin’ in Wind’ “) deserves a response to set the facts straight: Wind is increasingly delivering affordable, clean energy to millions of homeowners and businesses.

Wind energy is America’s fastest growing source of electricity, representing 35 percent of all new generating capacity in 2015. That’s more than solar or natural gas. There’s also enough new wind energy currently under construction to power over 2.5 million homes. That puts us firmly on track to meet the Department of Energy’s 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030 target.

At the same time, the wind industry is proud of our strong environmental track record and that will only continue. In fact, the Department of Energy’s Wind Vision report (energy.gov/sites/prod/files/wind_vision_highlights.pdf) says by 2050 wind could supply 35 percent of U.S. electricity on less land than is occupied by one-third of the country’s golf courses. Of the land wind farms do occupy, 99 percent remains available for other uses, like farming and ranching.

Wind is becoming economically viable in more areas as well, as technological improvements allow access to stronger winds in more locations. Wind will continue to be a growing part of America’s electricity mix for years to come.

Tom Darin, Western State Policy Director

American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.