Earth Policy Institute reports today that several European nations that have banked on wind power are now reaping huge rewards, with wind providing 20 to 34 percent of their total power needs.
You may already know that the world’s wind leader is Denmark, where on and off-shore wind turbines now produce on average 34 percent of the nation’s power, though on some days, wind accounts for half of Denmark’s electricity needs.
Can you guess the others?
Earth Policy reports that the second largest wind producer, by percentage of wind on its grid, is Portugal, which collects about 25 percent of its electricity from this infinite green power source.
Portugal is followed by Spain and Ireland, which get 21 percent and 17 percent of their power from wind, respectively.
All these European nations have the capacity to get all of their electricity from wind, as does the US, which gets just 4 percent of its power from wind, according to EPI’s analysis.
The US does have models for capturing more wind. Two states, South Dakota and Iowa drew more than 25 percent of their electricity from wind in 2013.
And there’s hope for more, literally on the horizon, as the US-government backs the development of offshore wind along the Eastern seaboard. Wind farms there will be barely visible from the coast, but close enough to easily serve the large cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.