Every year, the wind industry recognizes American Wind Week
– a celebration of the benefits and milestones of a reliable energy source that
reduces carbon and fosters economic development. Providing power for over seven percent of
the nation (over 32 million homes), American wind energy is doing more than
just powering our homes – it’s building our future.
Despite the setbacks of 2020, wind energy is still powering
American homes across the country. This wouldn’t be possible without the
nation’s wind energy workers, who have been working hard every day to deliver
reliable electricity to homes and businesses. In return, the wind industry
continues to support families across the country with stable, well-paid jobs,
as well as clean, low-cost energy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S
government deemed U.S. wind workers as essential infrastructure workers. This kept
new wind energy projects on track to continue construction.
The U.S. wind industry supports more than 120,000
jobs across all 50 states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, wind turbine technician is the second-fastest-growing job in
the country, and holds an annual salary of $52,910.
Wind is also one of the few industries that creates new, high-quality manufacturing
26,000 people have manufacturing jobs in more than 530 facilities producing
wind turbine components. Many wind industry jobs go to our nation’s veterans,
providing opportunities for people after they leave active duty. In fact, the
wind industry hires veterans at a rate 61
percent above the national average.
communities are reaping the benefits of companies investing in wind energy,
including jobs, additional tax revenue and new sources of income. Wind power delivered
$1.6 billion in state and local tax payments to communities and landowner
lease payments to farmers and ranchers in the last year. That’s a steady income
that can be counted on to keep the farm in the family, and a chance for
counties to improve infrastructure, schools and emergency services.
The demand for clean energy and wind power is growing across
the country. According to a July 2020 consumer survey
by The Harris Poll, 86 percent of Americans think the U.S. should put more
emphasis on using clean, renewable wind energy. States and corporations are
also setting ambitious clean energy goals. Currently, 63 percent of Fortune 500
corporations, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, have set goals of
powering of their offices, factories, data centers or stores with wind and
other renewable resources. Many of these company goals involve moving from
fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy power. As of 2020, corporate buyers
have contracted nearly 17,000
MW of wind. That’s the equivalent of powering over 5 million homes.
Wind energy is a great investment that also benefits
the planet. To date, wind power saves 198 billion tons of
carbon emissions, including 42
million cars’ worth of carbon emissions every year. It also lowers water
consumption. Wind energy has already saved 103 billion gallons of water.
Wind energy is helping communities grow across America by
creating new opportunities for a prosperous career, all while cleaning up the
planet. Despite a national pandemic, wind energy is poised to power another 15
million homes at the end of 2020 with 44 GW in the pipeline. That means more
jobs, revenue and investment. Wind energy is building a cleaner future – and
that’s just smart.