During 2011, the U.S. wind energy market jumped significantly, and contributed one-third of all new electric capacity in the country. This came from $14 billion in new investments, which is now resulting in a major increase in residential wind energy systems.
According to Consumer Reports, in response to the greater demand for wind power, the Department of Energy has created a guide for residential wind installations, which aims to help people understand the nuances of switching to renewable energy. According to the DOE, a residential wind turbine can lower overall energy consumption. Also, if the turbine generates more electricity than any one user needs, it can be sold back to a utility or retail energy provider.
With the popularity of residential wind energy systems taking off, new standards are being written to allow for higher turbines and machines that can generate greater amounts of power.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, construction of new wind power generation capacity in the first six months of 2012 totaled 2,896 megawatts, making total installed capacity in the U.S. 49,802 megawatts. This number is second in the world only to China.