CNN Fact Check: Wind energy breezes into the record books - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

CNN Fact Check: Wind energy breezes into the record books

By Emily Smith

(CNN) -- The statement:

"Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let's generate even more."

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama talked up alternative energy. Not only did Obama tout the solar and natural gas industries' recent gains, he also talked up the amount of wind energy that's now fueling the country.

Did turbines do their jobs, or is this all just hot air?

The facts:

According to the American Wind Energy Association, 2012 was the industry's strongest year. In total, more than 60,000 megawatts of wind-powered electric capacity were produced. That's enough to power almost 15 million homes. 2012 also saw wind energy providing about 42% of all new electric generating capacity, another first for the industry.

Impressive stats aside, the wind energy sector had a little help from the Obama administration in the form of a tax credit from the 2009 economic stimulus package. That credit was set to expire at the end of 2012, and U.S. utilities rushed to get their wind projects online.

The December deadline fueled an increase in wind power capacity: 5,300 megawatts were added in December alone, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. By comparison, it took the previous 11 months to generate 7,300 megawatts.

Conclusion: True, thanks in part to a last-minute rush when the industry was up against a looming deadline.

-- CNN's Matt Smith contributed to this report

  • Kingsville Bank Robbed

    Kingsville Bank Robbed

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:24:52 GMT
    Kingsville Police are on the lookout for a man that robbed a bank near Texas AM Kingsville. The crime happened shortly after 5 PM Friday afternoon. The suspect got away with an undetermined amount of cash. If you have any information on this crime call Kingsville Police at 592-4311.More >>
    Kingsville Police are on the lookout for a man that robbed a bank near Texas AM Kingsville. The crime happened shortly after 5 PM Friday afternoon. The suspect got away with an undetermined amount of cash. If you have any information on this crime call Kingsville Police at 592-4311.More >>
  • Anger Management Therapy Aimed At Reducing Crime

    Anger Management Therapy Aimed At Reducing Crime

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:20 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:20:32 GMT
    Anger is a natural emotion, but if not controlled it can be extremely dangerous or even deadly. One expert at a local anger management school we spoke with says their number one clients are those who have been ordered to attend anger management courses by the court.More >>
    Anger is a natural emotion, but if not controlled it can be extremely dangerous or even deadly. One expert at a local anger management school we spoke with says their number one clients are those who have been ordered to attend anger management courses by the court.More >>
  • Cell Phone Found Recording in Bathroom of Kwik Wash Laundromat

    Cell Phone Found Recording in Bathroom of Kwik Wash Laundromat

    For the third time in six weeks, a cell phone has been found hidden inside a public bathroom, this time at the Kwik Wash laundromat in the 11300 block of Leopard in Annaville.More >>
    For the third time in six weeks, a cell phone has been found hidden inside a public bathroom, this time at the Kwik Wash laundromat in the 11300 block of Leopard in Annaville.More >>