It’s June 15, which means it’s once again time to celebrate Global Wind Day. And there’s a lot to be happy about this year.
Here are the five things we’re most excited about as we reflect on the state of global wind energy.
- Wind power is on sale, now 66 percent cheaper than it was just six years ago. Technological advances allow turbines to access stronger, steadier winds, making more wind more economical in more places. Improvements in domestic manufacturing have also played in role in driving down wind’s costs, meaning for the first time, projects are financially viable in places like North Carolina and Virginia, two states on track to get their first utility-scale wind farms in the near future. These savings are being passed on to consumers, and through 2050, wind could save Americans $149 billion on their electricity bills, as DOE found in its Wind Vision report.
- These cost declines are also helping to fuel record job growth. Wind power now supports an all-time high 88,000 well-paying American jobs, including 21,000 manufacturing positions. Wind turbine technician is also the country’s fastest growing occupation, expected to increase by 108 percent over the next 10 years.
- Because wind is now the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in many parts of the country, it was America’s largest source of new electricity in 2015, with more coming online than solar or natural gas. Wind power is on track to quadruple in size by 2030, growing to reliably supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity mix.
- Clean energy means clear air. Because wind power has no emissions, it reduces large amounts of pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can cause smog and trigger asthma attacks. This creates billions of dollars in avoided public health costs. In 2015 alone, wind created $7.3 billion in public health benefits. Through 2050, this number could total $108 billion, and 22,000 premature deaths could be avoided.
- Wind energy remains the biggest, fastest, cheapest way to cut carbon pollution. Just last year, it saved over 28 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions. Through 2050, wind could avoid over $400 billion in climate change damages.
These are just a few of the reasons we’re celebrating Global Wind Day today. Designated for June 15 every year, the holiday recognizes wind power and its potential to change the world with clean, inexhaustible, affordable energy. Learn more about wind’s affordability and reliability below.