Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

California leads U.S. in wind power installations

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When the Annual Market Report from the American Wind Energy Association is announced this week, findings will include that at $2 billion, California ranked first in new wind power installations last year. That works out to more than double the state’s wind capacity in the last decade.

“The total amount of wind energy installations in 2011 created a banner year for wind generation in California and is helping to drive California closer to reaching its goal of 33% renewable energy,” said Nancy Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Association to the L.A. Times.

Wind power currently accounts for 5 percent of the state’s energy needs, with the industry supporting between 4,000 and 5,000 employees.