A brief testament to the potential of wind power: CNN Money reports that over the evening of April 15, Colorado utility Xcel Energy got 57% of its electricity from wind power, setting a new record for the United States.
The wind power bonanza ended in the morning, when Xcel's coal and natural gas power plants came online, as electricity use began to rise, as it does every day. With that happening, wind power fell back to 17% of the electricity mix—still a none-too-shabby amount, based on the national average.A recent analysis of the potential in the US of various renewable energy sources found that using current technology the nation could generate 50,200 Terawatt-hours of electricity annually. Far, far more than the 4,125 TWh of electricity the US currently uses. (Though also far, far less than the 400,000 TWh technical possible from solar power.)