A new Energy Information Administration (EIA) report revealed U.S. wind energy generation (onshore and offshore) decreased by 2.1% in 2023, despite the sector adding 6.2 gigawatts of new capacity power. This is the first decrease reported since the 1990s.

“The 2023 decline in wind generation indicates that wind as a generation source is maturing after decades of rapid growth,” the EIA noted. “Slower wind speeds than normal affected wind generation in 2023, especially during the first half of the year when wind generation dropped by 14% compared with the same period in 2022.”

Between 2004 and 2022, the private sector and federal government cumulatively invested over $300 billion for a measly 150 gigawatts of wind energy capacity. But no amount of Inflation Reduction Act money or supposedly good public relations can salvage wind’s image. 

As I noted here at IWF’s website last year, the Biden administration won’t ever reach its goal of harnessing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 due to “intermittent baseloads, expensive construction and maintenance costs, noise concerns, and potential adverse impacts on endangered whales and marine life.” 

Like solar, utility-scale wind is heavily subsidized by taxpayer money and is intermittent. According to the Department of Energy, wind has the second lowest capacity factor of any energy source with 35.4% reliability throughout the year. Solar’s performance is worse, with only a 24.9% capacity factor. 

If the Biden administration were serious about promoting clean energy without destabilizing our grid and our economy, it would encourage nuclear energy. 

This week, Georgia Power’s new nuclear reactor, Vogtle Plant Unit 4, finally began commercial operation. But more could be done to greenlight similar projects. Robert Bryce, who oversees the Renewable Rejection Database, explained the $300 billion dedicated to wind energy investments could have been stewarded better to build “20, 30, or maybe even 40 GW of new nuclear reactors.” He’s not wrong.

Nuclear boasts a 24/7 baseload power, has a 92.5% efficiency rate, and uses the least amount of land of any electricity source. For context, one 1,000-megawatt nuclear facility occupies just one square mile of land. For wind and solar to produce the equivalent amount of energy, they need 360 and 75 times more land than nuclear, respectively. 

As electricity demand continues to increase, intermittent sources like wind can’t fulfill these power needs. Worse, the “green energy” sector might need to be bailed out soon—despite receiving billions in Inflation Reduction Act money.

To learn more about wind energy’s shortcomings, go HERE.