In 2015 the installed US wind turbine fleet avoided 132 million tonnes of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. That's more than twice the annual emissions (62 million tonnes) from Canada's tar sands and is equivalent to taking 28 million cars off the road.

 

Source: American Wind Energy Association. 2014 data - The Hill 'Wind Industry Sets the Record Straight'.

 

A word on the data... in 2014 the American Wind Energy Association changed their calculation methodology to incorporate the EPA's AVERT - A tool that estimates the emissions benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs.

Thus far AWEA has only made its AVERT summary for 2014 & 2015 available. Consequently and in order to provide comparable data stretching back over a number of years, we've prorated AWEA's 2006-2013 material based on the installed wind capacity in the year in question relative to the total installed wind capacity in 2014. 

This methodology is not strictly correct since, during the 2006-2015 time frame, cross-year comparability has been affected by the fact that America's power generation mix has become less carbon intensive (due primarily to the sharp reduction in coal use) and fuel efficiency standards for cars have been tightened (well - for some of them anyway - shout out to VW).  

Indeed the US wind turbine fleet now annually avoids more than twice as much GHGs (132 million tonnes) as the annual emissions arising from Canada's tar sands (62 million tonnes). Another way of looking at it: US wind turbines annually reduce GHGs by an amount equivalent to 18 percent of Canada's total 2014 emissions (732 million tonnes).  

And the wind industry is only just getting going.