Welcome to the second day of #AmericanWindWeek! Today we are highlighting the many ways that wind can help the U.S. economy rebound stronger and build a better post-pandemic future. And remember visit AmericanWindWeek.org for more information, follow #AmericanWindWeek and #WindBuildsTheFuture on social media, and check out AWEA’s social press kit for readily available content you can share on your social media channels.
Before the pandemic, many rural communities were already struggling with population decline, retention of young people, and economic hardship due to agricultural uncertainty. In the face of COVID-19, these challenges have only grown. However, wind power is providing rural communities with an extra layer of security through land lease payments and substantial new tax revenue. This extra funding provides the opportunity to improve roads and infrastructure and invest in schools and other resources that strengthen the community, while drawing new residents to the area. Wind energy is also one of the few industries currently creating new manufacturing jobs.
Today AWEA released a series of case studies examining all the ways wind power is helping rural communities navigate these challenging times.
Offshore wind is another area that has great potential for boosting the post-pandemic economic recovery. In March, AWEA released its U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment, which found that by developing 30,000 megawatt (MW) of offshore wind along the East Coast, the U.S. could support up to 83,000 jobs and deliver $25 billion in annual economic output by 2030. An August 2020 study from research group Wood Mackenzie finds offshore wind in the U.S. overall has the potential to deliver 28,000 new megawatts of clean energy and $1.7 billion in U.S. Treasury revenue by 2022, which would significantly aid the economy in its post pandemic recovery. But don’t just take our word for it– listen to maritime industry workers talk about the opportunities they see offshore wind bringing to the country.
Wind is also helping us to recover from the pandemic more sustainably. As a zero-carbon energy source, the electricity wind turbines generate avoided an estimated 42 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions in 2019 alone. Because wind requires no water to produce electricity, it significantly reduces water consumption—saving about 103 billion gallons of water at power plants in 2019.
Wind energy is #BuildingtheFuture in uncertain times by providing steady, reliable jobs when the nation needs them most while strengthening our communities. When the time comes to rebuild our economy, wind will be there to provide clean, affordable energy for generations to come.