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Sierra Daily

Jan 30, 2013

Winner Wind

4 turbinesThe next issue of Sierra is devoted to wind, and here's the perfect introduction: the official 2012 figures are in, and the American Wind Energy Association reports that not only did wind have its best year ever, installing 13+ gigabytes of generating capacity, but that it was the number one source of new generating capacity in the country, providing 42 percent of all new electrical power. Here are the top ten wind winners in new installed capacity:

1. Texas (1,826 MW)
2. California (1,656 MW)
3. Kansas (1,440 MW)
4. Oklahoma (1,127 MW)
5. Illinois (823 MW)
6. Iowa (814 MW)
7. Oregon (640 MW)
8. Michigan (611 MW)
9. Pennsylvania (550 MW)
10. Colorado (496 MW)

By the way, here's what wasn't a source of new generating capacity last year: coal. Not a single new coal-fired power plant opened last year, and (since 2010) 137 plants have been retired.

Image by chromatika/iStock

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PAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdated Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress. Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber.

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