American Wind Week is still in the rearview mirror, but now it’s time to celebrate the full range of clean energy technologies during National Clean Energy Week. Groups across the energy sector are highlighting the ways American ingenuity is delivering clean energy to families and businesses across the country. With energy affordability and climate solutions dominating the headlines, this year’s “For Our Future” theme is fitting.
Wind power is among the many technologies delivering on this promise. In fact, wind is the number one source of renewable energy on the grid today. Just last month, the country celebrated American Wind Week, highlighting many of the ways “Wind Powers Opportunity” in America.
- Wind benefits rural America: Nearly 99 percent of the U.S. wind fleet is in rural communities. Each year the industry pays more than $1 billion in state and local taxes and land lease payments that benefit farmers and ranchers.
- Businesses are choosing wind: As businesses search for cost-effective ways of sourcing reliable, clean energy, they are increasingly turning to long-term contracts for wind power. 2018 was a record year for wind power purchase agreements (PPAs). Household brands like Google, Apple, Starbucks, the Home Depot, and GM are among the many companies buying wind.
- Wind creates jobs: In 2018, more than 114,000 Americans across all 50 states worked in wind.Wind turbine technician is the second-fastest-growing job in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many folks working in the wind field recognize it as more than a job—it’s a career.
- The wind industry hires veterans at a 67 percent higher rate than the average U.S. industry: Many of the skills and knowledge service members learn while doing their jobs serving our country like teamwork and technical know-how are transferrable to a career in wind.
- Wind is sustainable: The average wind farm repays its carbon footprint in six months of operation or less and provides zero-emissions electricity for decades after. In 2018, wind turbines avoided about 200 million tons of carbon pollution, the equivalent of 43 million cars’ worth of carbon pollution. They also significantly cut air pollutants known for creating smog and triggering asthma attacks. These reductions created over $9.4 billion in public health savings last year alone.
These benefits will only grow with the expansion of the U.S. wind fleet both onshore and offshore. As the consumer and innovation-driven clean energy boom continues, wind energy along with other renewables will increasingly play a larger role in the country’s energy mix.
The American wind industry is proud to provide affordable, reliable, clean energy using our nation’s natural wind resource, right here at home– you can’t celebrate National Clean Energy Week without celebrating wind power!