Record increase in the number of people employed in the wind energy sector in the USA shows that ambitious plans are attainable

Wind energy of the United States has recorded a record number of people employed in the wind power industry: according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016 (including engineers, wind farm operators, builders, employees of transport companies, technical specialists in repairing and maintenance, electricians and other specialists). According to the report presented on April 12 by AWEA, entitled “US Wind Industry Annual Market Report”, the increase in employment in 2015 was about 20%.

“Wind power benefits more American families than ever before,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re helping young people in rural America find a job close to home. Others are getting a fresh chance to rebuild their careers by landing a job in the booming clean energy sector. With long-term, stable policy in place, and a broader range of customers now buying low-cost wind-generated electricity, our workforce can grow to 380,000 well-paying jobs by 2030.”

“Innovative turbine technology has cut the cost of wind energy by two-thirds in just six years,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas Americas (who is also an incoming AWEA Board Chair). Wind turbines are recognized as the economical and environmental solution for cutting carbon pollution cost-effectively.”

In 2015, the American wind power industry installed 8,598 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity, which is a 77 percent increase over 2014. And the total installed capacity by 2016 amounted to 74.5 GW. 

It can be seen in the recent annual reports that the US wind energy industry is growing at a record pace, second only to China.

In addition to that, the data for the first quarter of 2016 show that another 9,400 MW are at the construction phase, of which 4,900 MW are already at the stage of commissioning.

Wind energy in the USA is developing under the scenarios of the Department of Energy. For example, in order to replace the document of 2008 that set the bar of “20% Wind Energy by 2030”, in 2015 the Department published a new report: “WindVision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States”. In the updated terms, both figures have increased: “35% Wind Energy by 2050”.

WindVision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States

At the moment about 4.5% of electricity is produced from wind power. However, the Department of Energy believes that, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the current momentum of development of wind power in the United States is ahead of the 2008 scenario. And it is expected that this figure will double already in 2019.

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