We have a lot to be thankful for so far in 2018. The wind industry is booming, offshore wind is scaling up, and industry growth is creating jobs and boosting rural economies. Wind continues to become more affordable, making way for a clean energy future in the US, and last week, we launched a new campaign to honor the veterans working in wind. Here are just a few of the things we’re thankful for:
The wind industry is growing
This month total wind energy capacity in the U.S. reached 90,550 megawatts (MW). That’s enough to power more than 27 million average American homes – with plenty more on the way. Right now, construction is underway on 107 different wind projects in 23 states. That’s over 20,000 MW of wind energy capacity under construction—nearly as much as all of the wind built to date in Texas, by far America’s wind leader.
Since the beginning of this year, non-utility buyers like Smucker’s, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Boston University, and Microsoft have signed contracts for nearly 3,000 MW of wind capacity, more than any other year to date. In total, corporate customers have signed up for more than 10,600 MW of wind energy – that’s more than all the wind in Oklahoma, America’s number two state in wind.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind energy technician is the second fastest growing job in the country. The industry currently employs about 105,000 workers, with wind jobs in all 50 states and over 500 U.S. factories that build wind related parts.
There’s momentum behind offshore wind
Up and down the Atlantic, 2018 has seen a constant stream of major offshore wind announcements, as states commit to developing large amounts of offshore wind as part of their electricity mix. As of this summer, the U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline exceeded 25 gigawatts (GW) of planned capacity. Check out what your state has been up to!
In October, AWEA hosted its annual Offshore WINDPOWER Conference with over 1,000 representatives from the industry, federal and state governments, and stakeholder groups. The two-day conference was buzzing with optimism.
State leaders are committing to renewable energy
Across the U.S. 29 states, Washington D.C. and three territories have renewable portfolio standards (RPS). In 2018 so far, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Nevada have all increased their RPS targets. New York and New Jersey both specifically increased their commitments to offshore wind.
More veterans are working in wind
Just last week, AWEA launched a new campaign to honor our veterans, highlighting those who have found successful and valuable careers in the wind industry. To meet some of the veterans working in wind, check out the AWEA blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
We’re thankful for these victories and your continued support of wind energy.