Building new wind farms in the U.S. added $13 billion per year on average to the American economy over the past five years, according to information recently released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
“By building new wind farms across the country throughout the past decade, wind companies have invested $128 billion into the U.S. economy,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Over this time, wind has rapidly scaled-up. Now, there is enough wind power installed to reliably produce electricity for more than 19 million American homes. Continuing to invest in world-class wind resources here at home will help keep our lights on, grow state economies, and keep more money in the pockets of homeowners and businesses.”
Wind energy was the number-one source for new electric capacity additions in 2015 with 8,598 MW installed. That number translates to $14.7 billion dollars in wind project investments in one year — a 73-percent increase over the $8.5 billion invested in new projects in 2014 and a more than seven-fold increase over investments by wind in 2013.
“The rapid rise of wind energy in the U.S. is clearly benefiting state economies,” said John Hensley, manager of industry data and analysis for AWEA. “This American success story will continue in 2016 and beyond as there’s an additional 9.4 GW of wind currently under construction on top of 4.9 GW that are in the advanced stages of development.”
New analysis on wind project investments are featured in AWEA’s 2015 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report. The annual report provides a comprehensive update on the state of the U.S. wind market, including the latest wind industry job numbers, investment figures, state-by-state comparisons, market rankings, and more.
Across the country, wind power’s rapid growth continues to attract new investment into state economies. Texas currently leads all states in terms of cumulative project investment with more than $32 billion being injected into its economy. Rounding out the top five states are California at $11.9 billion, Iowa at $11.8 billion, Oklahoma at $9.6 billion, and Illinois at $7.7 billion.
The new investment figures made by wind come shortly after a new accord that was announced by a bipartisan group of 17 governors who made the pledge to accelerate clean energy growth, including wind power, as a way to build “a new energy future.” The accord said that creating this new energy path will result in a “more durable and resilient infrastructure and [will] enable economic growth while protecting the health of our communities and natural resources.”
Wind power costs two-thirds less than it did six years ago because of American innovation and improved domestic manufacturing, with more than 500 factories across 43 states building wind turbine parts and materials, and those savings are being passed on to U.S. consumers. Wind power saved consumers $1 billion over just two days across the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic states during the 2014 Polar Vortex event.
Wind energy in the U.S. produces enough electricity for more than 19 million American homes, and American wind power supports 73,000 well-paying jobs across every state, including nearly 20,000 manufacturing jobs.
By staying on track to supply 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, wind energy could support 380,000 well-paying jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That number could grow to 600,000 by supplying 35 percent by 2050.
— Source: AWEA
For more information, go to www.awea.org.