The year 2010 showed decent overall results for US wind energy industry that added 5,115 MW of new wind power capacity, which increased the nation’s installed wind power capacity by 15%, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
This roughly represents half of the amount that was added in 2009. Wind power now accounts for around 3% of the total U.S. electricity supply, though there are some states like Iowa where wind contributes up to 25% of their electricity generation during peak production.
Wind power should play major role in US clean energy goal of obtaining 80% of total electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. But in order to achieve this goal wind power will have to become more efficient and far more reliable (intermittency issue).
US will also have to develop strong offshore wind energy sector because offshore wind energy represents the future of wind energy.
Federal tax and grant incentives for wind power will have to continue in years to come. In February 2009, federal incentives were expanded and extended to 2012.
State-mandated renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) have also played major role in US wind energy development. At the end of 2010 RPS programs have been adopted in 47 states.
The adequate transmission system is still a major obstacle in delivering wind-generated electricity to urban centers. New transmission lines are necessary but they also cost lot of money. With more transmission lines wind power would account for lot more generated electricity.