Wind-generated electricity has grown from a niche enterprise in the late 20th century to become a major energy source globally and nationally, and Kansas has played a significant role. Kansas wind power expanded more than six-fold between 2008 and 2018. Among states, Kansas now ranks fourth for total wind generating capacity (>6 GW) and second for combined wind and solar electricity production as a fraction of electricity consumption (47%). Kansas is virtually tied with Iowa for the highest amount of wind energy as part of the electric grid mix (>41%). From early development in the High Plains, wind farms and energy complexes have expanded into nearly all regions of the state. The drainage divide between the Missouri River and Arkansas River basins is a geographic focus for recent development of wind farms in eastern Kansas.
Generation of electricity in Kansas mirrors overall energy trends in the United States during the past two decades. Coal, petroleum, and nuclear have declined, hydroelectric has been stable, natural gas has grown, and renewable (wind, solar) energy has expanded dramatically. These shifts in energy sources are reflected likewise in significant declines of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen emissions. Kansas reflects the international character of the wind-energy industry. Installed wind turbines are mainly of Danish, German, and/or Spanish origin with some components manufactured in Kansas and other nearby states.