Wind Energy & Our Economy
Read all of Wind Energy 101: Part One: Harvesting Electricity from the Wind, Part Two: Wind Energy & Our Economy, Part Three: Wind Energy & The Environment, Part Four: Answering Wind Energy Critics, & Part Five: Wind Energy Myths & Facts.
Wind energy already employs over 100,000 people in the United States, and that number is projected to grow by nearly 40 percent within just a few years . Wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in America!
Wind also creates jobs you might not think of right away, for example the drivers who move tower segments and blades across country. And, wind energy already employs 25,000 people in manufacturing jobs. They build the towers, electrical systems and other technologies that go into a wind farm. More than half the parts in a typical turbine are built in America, and that percentage is rising as we create more wind-related factories here. Wind energy is Made in the USA!
Renewable energy means energy independence. When we generate electricity from wind and solar, we avoid using fuels whose prices are affected by events many thousands of miles away. The fuel is free, and the jobs are right here at home!
Wind energy is a huge boon for rural America. Almost all wind farms are located in rural areas, and 71% percent are in low-income counties. Wind farms lease land from farmers, ranchers and other landowners. They create a drought-proof "cash crop" for farmers, and since they use up only a percent or two of the land itself, the rest is left for crops and cattle. Lease payments from wind energy can help farmers stay on land that may have been in their families for generations. In 2016, wind farms generated at least $245 million in lease payments alone!
Besides payments to landowners, wind creates ripple effects in communities. Property taxes on wind farms generate hundreds of millions of dollars for local governments, helping to fund schools, roads, hospitals and more. They also bring well-paid, skilled jobs to many areas where residents may have few good career opportunities. And as landowners and turbine techs spend their earnings at local businesses, the overall local economy gets a boost.
Wind energy in the US doubled between 2009 and 2015:
Wind energy isn't just for the future – it's working for us today.