2016 State of Wind Development in the United States by Region

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Significant expansion of wind energy development will be required to achieve the scenarios outlined in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)'s Wind Vision: 20% wind energy by 2030 and 35% wind energy by 2050. Wind energy currently provides nearly 5% of the nation's electricity but has the potential to provide much more. The wind industry and the DOE's Wind Energy Technologies Office are addressing technical wind energy challenges, such as reducing turbine costs and increasing energy production and reliability. The Office recognizes that public acceptance of wind energy can be challenging, depending on the proximity of proposed wind farms to local populations. Informed decision makers and communities equipped with unbiased information about the benefits and impacts of wind energy development are better prepared to navigate the sometimes contentious development process. In 2014, DOE established six Regional Resource Centers (RRCs) across the United States to communicate unbiased, credible information about wind energy to stakeholders through regional networks. The RRCs provide ready access to this information to familiarize the public with wind energy; raise awareness about potential benefits and issues; and disseminate data on siting considerations such as turbine sound and wildlife habitat protection. This document summarizes the status and drivers for U.S. wind energy development during 2016. RRC leaders provided a report of wind energy development in their regions, which was combined with findings from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers to provide an account of the state of the regions, as well as updates on developments in individual states. NREL researchers and state partners added updates for all states that are not directly supported by an RRC. Accounts for each region include updates on renewable portfolio standards, the Clean Power Plan, workforce development, manufacturing and economic development, and individual state updates for installed wind capacity, ongoing policy developments, planned projects and their status, transmission progress reports, etc. This report also highlights the efforts of the RRCs to engage stakeholders in their individual regions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages163
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-67624


  • Regional Resource Centers
  • regional wind development
  • wind development
  • wind energy


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