Report addresses economic and environmental benefits of wind energy


Wind turbines in New Hampton, Iowa (Theodore Scott/Flickr)
Wind turbines in New Hampton, Iowa (Theodore Scott/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | April 13, 2016

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its U.S Wind Industry Annual Market Report on Tuesday which found that wind power accounted for a record 88,000 jobs for Americans in 2015.

The report was released during an event hosted at a wind turbine component manufacturer near Denver, Colorado. Colorado along with Iowa were in the top four nationwide for wind energy jobs which includes the development and manufacturing industries. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released in December found that wind turbines technicians are now the fastest growing occupation in the country.

The Hawkeye State has more than 6,000 wind energy-related jobs and has invested nearly $12 billion in capital for wind projects. Additionally, Iowa became the first state in the nation to generate more than 30 percent of its electricity from wind in 2015. With the help of the Production Tax Credit and the Investment Tax Credit – both of which passed with bipartisan support in the United States Congress late last year – the U.S. is on track to achieve the Department of Energy’s projection of generating 20 percent of the country’s electricity from wind by 2030.

Approximately 70 percent of wind farms nationwide are located in counties with below average incomes and wind developers are paying $222 million a year to lease land from U.S. farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners.

Wind turbines also contribute to a reduction in the amount of health-harming air pollutants in the atmosphere and have led to an estimated $7.3 billion reduction in health care costs last year alone.

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