Wind Energy

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Wind energy is harnessed by wind turbines, which convert the energy of the wind into electricity. Wind energy is one of the largest sources of renewable energy. Wind farms can now be found in more than 40 states.

Basics

A wind turbine.

Wind energy is harnessed by wind turbines, which convert the energy of the wind into electricity. Wind energy is one of the largest sources of renewable energy.
Wind farms are most effective in areas with high and steady wind speeds, such as the central United States: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa together produce around half of all the wind power in the country. Wind speed generally increases with height, which is why wind turbines tend to be very tall.
Wind speeds over the ocean tend to be faster and steadier than on land. As a result, some countries have developed offshore wind farms, which come with their own geoscientific and engineering challenges. The first offshore wind farm in the United States began producing electricity off the coast of Rhode Island in 2016.   Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Latest News

House chamber
(2018-07-10)
June 26, 2018 The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss three separate wind energy bills on June 26. A draft bill called the National OCS Renewable Energy Leasing Program Act would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331)...
U.S. Capitol
(2016-08-25)
July 12, 2016 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill (S. 3169) that would authorize new basic energy research funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science programs by eliminating the long-standing wind production tax credit (PTC) that has helped to expand wind power...
Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
(2016-07-28)
July 13, 2016 The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (H.R.2663), a bipartisan bill with 67 cosponsors that was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in 2015. If enacted, H.R.2663 would...
Atlantic waves
(2016-06-15)
June 8, 2016 Inspired by recent milestones in domestic offshore wind energy and persistently low oil and gas prices, Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW 2016) included a panel on potential changes to U.S. offshore energy portfolios. The panel, moderated by E&ETV’s managing editor Monica Trauzzi,...

Geological Surveys Database Publications

2017, United States Geological Survey
Solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbine technologies are projected to make up an increasing proportion of electricity generation capacity in the United States in the coming decades. By 2050, they will account for 36 percent (or 566 gigawatts) of capacity compared with about 11 percent (or 118...
2016, United States Geological Survey
The renewable energy sector is rapidly expanding and diversifying the power supply of the country. Yet, as our Nation works to advance renewable energy and to conserve wildlife, some conflicts arise. To address these challenges, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting innovative research...
2013, Oklahoma Geological Survey

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2013, Oklahoma Geological Survey

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2013, Oklahoma Geological Survey

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2013, Oklahoma Geological Survey

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2011, United States Geological Survey
The United States has embarked on a goal to increase electricity generation from clean, renewable sources by 2012. Towards this end, wind energy is emerging as a widely distributed form of renewable energy throughout the country. The national goal is for energy from wind to supply 20 percent of the...
2010, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

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2008, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

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2007, Colorado Geological Survey

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