How wind turbines work
Wind turbines use blades to collect the winds kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades creating lift (similar to the effect on airplane wings), which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces electricity.
Electricity generation with wind
In 2014, wind turbines in the United States generated about 4% of total U.S. electricity generation. Although this is a small share of the country's total electricity production, it was equal to the electricity use of about 17 million U.S. households in 2013.
The amount of electricity generated from wind has grown significantly in recent years. Electricity generation from wind in the United States increased from about 6 billion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2000, to about 182 billion kWh in 2014.
New technologies have decreased the cost of producing electricity from wind, and growth in wind power has been encouraged by government and industry incentives.