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Texas Leads US in Generating Wind Power

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Texas has now embraced wind power generation, leading the US states in total operating wind capacity, according to the latest report of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

AWEA said in its report on Tuesday that Texas had increased its capacity for wind power generation in the third quarter of 2009 by 436 megawatts (MW) -- greater than any other US state.

This makes Texas the undisputed leader in total operating wind capacity in the United States at 8,797 MW. That nearly triples the capacity in Iowa, which comes in second at 3,053 MW. The following three states of the top five are California, 2,787 MW; Minnesota, 1,805 MW; and Oregon, 1,659 MW.

Overall, AWEA's third-quarter report showed the US wind energy industry had recently installed a 1,649 MW generating capacity, bringing the total capacity added this year to over 5,800 MW.

At present, the total wind power capacity in the United States is more than 31,000 MW, enough to power nine million homes.

The AWEA attributes the increase to an announcement of rules to implement the stimulus bill, which amounts to approximately US$6.5 billion in new investment.

In August, the US Energy Department and Internal Revenue Service began accepting applications for up to 2.3 billion dollars in tax credits that are available to manufacturers of advanced energy equipment.

Industry analysts believe the new investments in facilities of making equipment for renewable energy resources, including wind energy, are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit.

"These tax credits will help create thousands of high-quality manufacturing jobs in some of the highest-growing segments of the economy," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is an opportunity to develop our global leadership in clean energy manufacturing and build a secure, sustained base of jobs for America's workers."

AWEA's chief executive officer Denise Bode pointed out the share of wind turbine components manufactured in the United States had increased to 50 percent in 2008, up from less than 30 percent in 2005.

"The domestic share can increase further with the stimulus funding now beginning to flow," Bode said, as long as this money was coupled with a long-term commitment to generate more electricity from renewable energy sources.

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