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The Weekly Digest collects the most engaging data points and visuals from recent USAFacts stories. Dive into each report for more metrics, or skim here for a quick understanding of the numbers behind the news.

How much US electricity comes from wind power?

President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, investing $300 billion in deficit reduction and about $370 billion toward climate change programs and energy security. The climate programs include over $30 billion in incentives for companies to build wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries. This could further accelerate the nation’s leading source of renewable electricity: wind power.

  • Renewable energy makes up 20% of US electricity, with wind contributing 9.2% in 2021. In comparison, natural gas, the nation’s leading source of electricity, produced almost twice as much electricity as all renewables combined.
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  • As of April 2022, the nation has more than 71,666 wind turbines, with the average wind farm having about 50. The single-largest wind farm is in California with 586 turbines. However, almost a quarter of all US wind power capacity is in Texas.
  • Every month, the average wind turbine produces enough power to cover the monthly electricity needs of 940 homes. It takes 46 minutes to power the average US home for one month.
  • Rhode Island started the first offshore wind project in 2016. The US currently has offshore wind projects in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Rhode Island. Fifteen other projects have received permits, and eight states have set wind energy acquisition goals.

Learn more about the contributions of wind power at USAFacts.org

How do electric vehicle tax credits work?

In 2019, 162,686 tax returns claimed the federal tax credit for electric vehicles — about 25% of qualified cars purchased that year. The Inflation Reduction Act expands the electric vehicle credit by removing the maximum limit that prevented owners of popular electric cars from receiving the credit and extending the credit to used electric vehicles.

  • Prior to the act, only 200,000 cars per manufacturer could qualify for the $7,500 tax credit. The tax credit was strictly for new fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The act eliminates the vehicle limit and expands the tax credit eligibility to used cars up to $4,000.
  • Single filers who earn $150,000+ or joint filers who make $300,000+ will no longer be eligible for the tax credit. Additionally, cars costing more than $55,000 or pickups and SUVs costing more than $80,000 will no longer be eligible. 
  • Nineteen states and Washington, DC also provide monetary incentives to electric vehicle owners. These include rebates (the most common state incentive), income tax credits, and excise or sales tax exemptions. Connecticut and Oregon offer the largest rebates — up to $7,500 back to qualifying residents.

Explore the other incentives available for electric vehicle buyers as well as potential additional fees.

What's in the CHIPS Act?

Congress recently passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, mainly referred to as the CHIPS Act. President Biden signed it into law on August 9. It is a $280-billion spending package to encourage growth in the US-based semiconductor industry. Here's some of what it includes: 

  • Many products, from light switches to cell phones to cars to military equipment need semiconductors. More than 80% of semiconductors are produced overseas and recent supply chain disruptions have made it difficult for domestic manufacturers to produce various goods.
  • About $50 billion of the CHIPS Act is for increasing semiconductor production domestically. Of the $50 billion, $39 billion is for tax benefits and incentives to encourage American companies to build new chip manufacturing plants domestically. The remaining $11 billion funds supply chain programs on design, packaging, and manufacturing.
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  • Semiconductor employment decreased by 36% between 2001 and 2021. Increased automation and outsourcing to foreign-based firms are reasons for the drop in employment.
  • The act includes $200 million toward growing the semiconductor workforce through job training and graduate school programs. The Department of Commerce estimates that the industry will need an additional 90,000 workers by 2025.

What products are semiconductors used to produce? Where are semiconductor firms located in the US? Find out here.

Data in the news

  • On August 24, President Biden announced he would to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 annually or families earning less than $250,000. See what the data says about who will benefit from the cancelation.
  • Six months have passed since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war. The world continues to feel the conflict’s impact in various ways, including inflation and supply chain issues. Get context on the Ukraine-Russia conflict with data collected here.
  • How well do you know facts in the news? Take our weekly quiz to find out.

Of all US-grown agriculture, nuts and cotton are exported at the highest rates: 79% of walnuts, 76% of cotton, and 67% of almonds. Explore what else happens to the food grown in the US in this article.