The U.S. added 6,816 megawatts of new wind power capacity last year, 31% more than in 2010, bringing the country's total to 46,916 MW, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Wind power accounted for about 35% of the country's new capacity over the past five years, but the industry could lose momentum if the renewable-energy Production Tax Credit is allowed to lapse at the end of the year, AWEA said. "In hard economic times we're creating jobs and delivering clean, affordable electricity. But we will lose all these consumer benefits and a brand new, growing manufacturing sector if Congress allows the Production Tax Credit to expire," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

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