U.S. Saw Drop in Wind Generation Last Year


For the first time since the 1990s, U.S. wind generation dropped last year, according to government figures. The slump is the result of weak winds, and it comes despite the continued buildout of wind turbines nationally.

In 2023, the total amount of power U.S. turbines could theoretically produce reached a record high, according to an analysis from the Energy Information Administration. But wind plants generally run well below their maximum, and last year that was especially true. Facing doldrums, wind turbines operated at 33.5 percent of their capacity, down from an all-time high of 35.9 percent the year prior. The result was a small drop in the total amount of power produced.

Experts say the drop is due to El Niño, the warmer phase of the Pacific Ocean, which weakened wind speeds across much of the country, but particularly in the Midwest, where turbines are abundant. Wind speeds are expected to pick up again this year as the cooler La Niña phase sets in.


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