Wind has surpassed hydro as the most-used source of renewable electricity in the U.S. last year, according to the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
U.S. annual wind generation in 2019 exceeded hydroelectric generation for the first time to become the top renewable source of electricity generation in the country, the EIA said.
Annual wind generation in the U.S. totaled 300 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2019, exceeding hydroelectric generation by 26 million MWh, according to the EIA.
"Wind generation has increased steadily during the past decade, in part because the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which drove wind capacity additions, was extended," the statement said.
PTC is an incentive by the U.S. federal government that provides financial support for the development of renewable energy facilities for companies that generate electricity from wind, geothermal, and bioenergy. On Dec. 20, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill extending the current PTC for wind for an additional year.
"Wind capacity additions tend to come online during the fourth quarter of the year, most likely because of tax benefits," the EIA said.
In the U.S., wind capacity additions totaled 10 gigawatts (GW) in 2019, with 3.8 GW installed in the fourth quarter, making 2019 the second-largest year for wind capacity additions in the country after the year 2012, it added.
By the end of 2019, the U.S. had 103 GW of wind capacity, of which 77% was installed in the last decade, according to the EIA.
By Ovunc Kutlu