American wind power has a remarkable story to tell—in just a few short years it has doubled in size, become the country’s largest renewable energy resource, and is the most affordable source of new electricity in many parts of the U.S. We’re highlighting all this and more on Global Wind Day, celebrated every June and run by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
This year’s Global Wind Day theme is Are You In? GWEC asks, “Are you in to accelerate the energy transition? Are you in to raise ambition? Are you in to create new jobs and investment? Are you in to help make supply chains and businesses more sustainable? Are you in to protect the health of people and the planet? Are you in to achieve our climate goals?”
In the U.S., the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes. Wind energy supports over 120,000 direct American jobs across all 50 states, over 500 U.S. factories build wind turbine components, wind technician is the nation’s fastest growing job, and the country has enough installed wind energy to power over 38 million American homes.
And despite all this progress, American wind power is just getting started. We’re only beginning to tap into the world-class wind resources off our shores, as the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind project recently gained final approval and should begin construction shortly. By 2030, offshore wind could create 83,000 new jobs and an entirely new domestic supply chain.
Moving forward, wind energy will play a vital role in helping us build a 21st century clean energy economy. ACP’s recent “2021 Clean Energy Labor Supply Report,” by BW Research, finds hitting 50 to 70 percent clean energy targets would create 500,000 to 600,000 jobs during development and construction of clean energy projects, with the manufacturing sector comprising 38 percent of the work. The report also finds 35 different occupations, including construction, architecture and engineering, welders and machinists, metal fabricators, transportation, and electricians, among others, will see growth. A strong majority of these fields support wages higher than the national average, often by a substantial margin. Wind energy will play a foundational role in this progress.
So to answer GWEC’s question, the U.S. is most definitely in. We’re building a future powered by clean energy and putting Americans back to work while doing so. It’s not a question of if, it’s a matter of how fast it will happen.