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Wind Power Helps Drive Strong Increase In US Renewable Electricity Generation

As policy makers in Washington ignore the urgent need to extend federal tax credits for wind, there's some new data for them to consider. Over the last decade, the number of states generating more than 10 percent of electricity from non-hydro renewable energy has increased from two to nine.

The main driver? Wind.

According to the Energy Information Administration, there are now 20 states generating more than 5 percent of electricity from non-hydro renewables. The two most dramatic increases in renewable generation were in South Dakota and Iowa, which now have 21 percent and 17 percent penetration respectively, up from about 1 percent a decade ago.

These figures don’t include on-site distributed generation — a sector that is still very small, but growing steadily.

There’s a reason why many Republican lawmakers, including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Representative Steve King, want to see the Production Tax Credit for wind extended. The industry has supported more than 3,000 manufacturing and operations jobs in the state, providing more than $12.7 million in annual land lease payments for Iowans each year.

This article was originally published on Climate Progress and was republished with permission.

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I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in to...

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