Report from the American Energy Information Administration shows that turbines will produce less in 2023, even as plant capacity increases

Wind energy generation decreased for the first time in the United States since the mid-1990s. Report released this Tuesday (April 30, 2024) by the EIA (United States Energy Information Administration) shows that electricity production by wind turbines in 2023 was 425,235 GWh (gigawatt hours).

The study shows that there was a drop of 2.1% compared to the 434,297 GWh generated by wind in 2022. The reduction occurred despite the increase of 6.2 GW of wind capacity in the country last year with the entry into operation of new wind farms . Here is the full power plant operations report (PDF in English – 11 MB).

Over the past 10 years, electricity generation from wind turbines has more than doubled in the US. In 2014, 181,655 GWh were produced by this source. The significant growth observed is the result of policies to encourage the expansion of renewable sources in the country, which intensified under the Joe Biden administration (Democratic Party).

According to the EIA, United States wind capacity has increased steadily over the past few years, more than tripling. It went from 47.0 GW in 2010 to 147.5 GW at the end of 2023. Electricity generation from wind also grew steadily and in a similar way to capacity, which was not repeated in 2023.

The entity states that the decline in wind generation in 2023 indicates that wind as a source of generation “is maturing after decades of rapid growth”.

Last year, the average utilization rate (or capacity factor) of wind turbines fell to an 8-year low of 33.5% (compared to 35.9% in 2022, the all-time high).

The EIA explains that slower than normal wind speeds affected generation in 2023, especially during the 1st half, when wind production fell 14% compared to the same period in 2022. Speeds increased towards the end of the year. From August to December, the wind regime was 2.4% higher than that recorded in the same period in 2022.

The decline in wind generation in 2023 was not uniform across the United States. The drop was greater in the Central-West region. In the Central-North-East subdivision, generation fell 6%. In the Central-North-West, -8%. And in the Mountain division, -2%. These 3 divisions account for half of the wind capacity installed in the country.

In other regions, energy production from the events was slightly higher than in 2022. In the Central-South West, an increase of 3% was recorded. In Texas, which has the largest wind generation fleet in the United States, generation grew 4.4% in 2023. The State had an installed wind capacity of 40.7 GW in 2023, representing 28% of the national total.


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