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Which Region in the US makes best use of Wind Power Plants?

written by: Ricky • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/15/2008

The United States is the largest consumer of energy in the world so she is always on the lookout for new sources of energy. Several regions of the US are blessed with wind power options but which region does the best job?

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    Introduction

    With just over 5% of the world population the United States consumes little less than one-fourth of the overall world energy consumption [1]. Such a level of per-capita energy consumption could be classified as “extravagant” but it is not my aim to debate this issue here. I simply want to show how desperate the US might be to produce energy by alternative and renewable sources, since with such a huge consumption level it only has little over 4% of the world’s crude reserves. Wind power offers an excellent opportunity and many regions in the US have ideal conditions to set up wind power plants, but do you know which region produces the most wind energy?

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    Texas – The Leader in Wind Energy Production

    Texas, the south-central state of USA is the leading producer of wind powered energy while California comes next in this ranking with nearly half the wind energy production as compared to Texas [2]. What is more surprising is that the scenario has changed dramatically in just a few years. About four years back, California produced approximately double the amount of wind power than Texas.

    This does not mean to say that California stopped producing wind energy infact she has increased her wind energy production by 20% in the last four years. The reason for this is that Texas has increased its wind energy production by nearly 3 and half times in the same time period.

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    Significant Growth Rate

    The determination to find new sources of energy can be gauged from the fact that the wind power production in the US grew by a huge proportion of 45% in the year 2007. One of the major contributors to this growth was the State of Texas as it contributed half of this increased production. Infact the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Centre of Texas is one of the largest wind power plants in the whole world and there are several other huge wind farms as well.

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    Classification of Wind Power

    Wind power is classified or rated on a scale from 1 to 7 where 1 represents a region which is very unsuitable for wind power production due to its conditions of low wind power density. Class 7 represents a region which has got excellent wind power density. The state of Texas is rich in wind power as can be seen from the figure below which represents the various classified areas in different colour codes. The regions which represent the red coloured areas are very few since they are mostly found on mountains and ridge tops but that is not a matter of botheration since the other regions have plenty potential for wind power generation as well.

    It is hoped that this enthusiasm to produce more wind energy keeps the momentum of healthy competition alive and leads to increasing supply of wind power in the future, in order to cope with the limited reserves of non-renewable energy sources.

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    Wind Power In Texas