Wind power employs just over 100,000 Americans according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), more than work at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants.
“Wind means opportunity and job security for over 100,000 Americans,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “The Department of Energy’s new jobs data underscore the incredible impact of wind power in creating American jobs. Wind workers directly contribute to our nation’s energy independence and economic success story. We’re especially proud of helping America’s veterans find well-paying jobs after their service, employing them at a rate that is 50 percent higher than the national average.”
These wind jobs can be found across the nation. According to DOE, Texas is home to nearly 25 percent of American wind workers. Substantially more growth is possible. According to DOE’s earlier Wind Vision report, 380,000 American wind jobs could be created by 2030.
DOE’s new data validates the jobs growth reported in AWEA’s own annual report. At the end of 2015, AWEA estimated 88,000 Americans were employed in the U.S. wind industry, a 20 percent increase from 2014 levels. Given near-record amounts of wind power under construction and recent wind manufacturing facility expansions in states like Colorado, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin, AWEA expects wind industry employment grew significantly in 2016.
AWEA’s detailed jobs analysis, including state-by-state breakdowns, will be released this spring as part of the U.S. Wind Industry’s Annual Market Report 2016.