California used to produce more than 90 percent of the world's wind power, but because of a combination of increased production elsewhere and aging equipment, it now produces less than 2 percent. As of 2010, about half of the world's wind power comes from Europe, with China, the United States and India also being big producers.
More facts about wind power:
- World wind power production doubled every three years between 2000 and 2006, with an estimated 200 gigawatts (GW) of capacity installed by the end of 2010. To put that in perspective, that's about half of the world' nuclear power capacity. Wind power capacity is projected to double again by 2014.
- The country that uses the highest percentage of wind power for its energy is Denmark, where wind power accounts for about one-fifth of the nation's energy usage. In the United States, the state that generates the most wind power is Texas — if Texas were a country, it would be the sixth-largest wind producer in the world — and the state that uses the highest percentage of wind power is Iowa, which uses wind power for about 14 percent of its energy needs.
- The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that, if fully utilized, winds from Texas, North Dakota and Kansas could completely power the country.