According to the Department of Energy, the wind industry now
employs over 100,000 Americans with good, family-supporting jobs. That’s more jobs than in coal, gas, nuclear
or hydroelectric plants. And, these jobs
span all 50 states. While wind turbine
technician is the country’s fastest growing job according to the US
Department of Labor, not all the jobs require scaling those tall towers. Jobs in engineering, law, finance, sales,
construction, as well as manufacturing all support the wind industry. Plus, there are 500 manufacturing facilities that
build towers, blades, and other parts and supplies.
There is more to a turbine
than the three blades and a tower that you see on the outside. There are over 8,000
component parts in modern wind turbines. And
today, 60 percent of the value of a wind farm is made right here in America.
Those parts include massive bolts, cables and wires, and nacelles that house
the gear box, generator and other systems.
Department of Energy Wind Vision report states that an additional 380,000 jobs would be created to
achieve the 20 percent wind energy goal.
Bump that growth to 35 percent of our electricity being supplied by wind
and the jobs number grows to 600,000 jobs.
Here in Minnesota, according to a new report
issued by the Environmental Law and Policy Center, there are 49
companies that supply the wind industry, and another 16 companies that supply
both wind and solar. The Department of Employment and Economic Development
estimates Minnesota employs nearly 2,000 people in the wind industry.
Wind energy is a smart choice for good, family-supporting
jobs in Minnesota.
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Photo credit: Dennis Schwartz