The United States is second only to China in installed wind energy capacity, with over 60 gigawatts at the end of 2012, leading the world wind power growth by adding over 13 gigawatts during 2012. This growth was stimulated by tax incentives that were set to expire at the end of 2012. In a last minute move by Congress, however, wind power incentives were extended to the end of 2013.
States leading US production are Texas, California, Iowa, Illinois, Oregon and Oklahoma. In Iowa and South Dakota, nearly 25% of state energy production comes from harnessing the wind. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, AWEA project database)
Considering wind resources a percentage of electricity consumption, however, the US lags behind such countries as Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Romania, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Netherlands and Italy.
Tax incentives play a major role in the growth of alternative energy production, as demonstrated by 2012 results as the threat of their expiration loomed at year end. With those incentives again expiring by the close of 2013, energy producers have been scrambling to beat the deadline.
Clearly, if the U.S. is serious about becoming energy independent, those incentives need to be extended again.