Bennet Welcomes Reports Showing Record Growth in Wind Energy Industry

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today welcomed two U.S. Department of Energy reports showcasing record growth across the U.S. wind market – increasing America’s share of clean, renewable energy and supporting thousands of Colorado jobs.

In 2012, wind energy became the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first time – representing 43 percent of all new electric additions and accounting for $25 billion in U.S. investment. According to these reports, Colorado continues to be one of the country’s largest and fastest growing wind markets. The 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report finds that in 2012, Colorado installed 496 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity, bringing its total to about 2,300 MW. With this installed capacity, Colorado can generate about 13 percent of its electricity from wind energy.

“Colorado continues to demonstrate its leadership in a wind industry that is helping to diversify our energy portfolio and supporting thousands of jobs for hardworking Coloradans,” Bennet said. “These reports highlight the importance of our continued investments in renewable energy sources. That is why we fought for an extension of the wind production tax credit last year and why we must continue to find innovative ways to invest in these types of energy technology.”

Bennet led efforts in Congress to extend the wind energy PTC. He led eight of the nine members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in a bipartisan letter calling for extension of the tax credit and has introduced two bipartisan amendments with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), cosponsored by Senator Mark Udall, to extend the PTC. He has also partnered with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Udall to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to extend the PTC for wind and several other renewable energy technologies. Last July, he successfully led a bipartisan group of senators urging the Senate Finance Committee to include an extension of the PTC in a tax extenders bill the committee was considering.

Colorado generates the third highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. It is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 5,000 workers statewide.