Wind power set to pass hydroelectric in 2018
Wind is expected to surpass hydroelectric power in 2018 as the largest source of renewable power in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy.Wind is still a fraction of the total energy picture. It has the advantage of solar of producing electricity when the sun does not shine, but it is at its strongest in the hot afternoons of summer when power consumption is usually at its peak. It has been successful in Texas because the state built the transmission lines needed to get the electricity to the cities that need it. Wind still can be intermittent which means it needs fossil fuels to act as a backup.
Hydro power was one of the first technologies used to generate electricity, and has remained the nation's dominant source of renewable power even as wind and solar power have grown rapidly in the past few years.
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The Energy Department expects wind power capacity to grow significantly in 2018 and 2019, as fewer hydro-electric plant will come online. Wind power capacity in the U.S. is expected to grow by 9 percent in 2018 and 8 percent in 2019.