In its Wind Technologies Market Report, the U.S. Department of Energy finds that the country's wind power industry had a record year in 2009, surpassing growth projections. But the industry isn't in the clear yet: the recession and reduced wholesale electricity prices will dampen the market in 2010.
In 2009, there were 10 gigawatts of new wind power added and $21 billion invested in the United States. That was 20 percent higher than additions in 2008, which was itself a record-breaking year. The Recovery Act and Section 1603 Treasury Grant programs helped drive growth.
In other findings, wind power contributed 39 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2009, and the United States remained the global leader in cumulative wind capacity. However, China became the leader in annual additions.