The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has produced new video content on its website under the banner ‘WindTV‘. This well-produced video provides an interesting look at the life of Matt Crawford, an Iowa lead wind energy technician. It also offers a glimpse into his country’s wind energy jobs, an important consideration as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy is set to expire at year-end.
As we know too well, opinions are plentiful when it comes to discussing energy solutions for the next century. They are also abundant – pro and con — about the desirability and viability of wind energy, especially when it involves subsidies like tax credits. Considering the majority of industries associated with providing energy – from oil and gas drillers to corn farmers and ethanol manufacturers – enjoy a variety of government subsidies, WindTV is a platform where a good dose of timely and accurate information can be very useful.
Importantly, this series has been produced to provide information on the subject, both in terms of how it works and what skills are required, from a worker standpoint. The Crawford piece does a credible job of highlighting how wind works for America, including what it’s like to be inside one of those towers, for those who might be wondering.
In the video (above), Crawford describes “a day in the life of a wind tech.” At a time when many rural communities are losing young residents because jobs are scarce, wind power has allowed the still-youthful Crawford and his wife to live near family in Iowa. Crawford’s window of opportunity for fulfilling employment may be short-lived, though. AWEA points out that the federal PTC for wind energy is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, causing some developers to freeze plans for any new projects, such as those that Crawford services.
AWEA supports continuation of the tax credit, citing a study, stating that with stable tax policy the wind industry can create and grow to almost 100,000 American jobs just in the next four years, including growing the wind-manufacturing sector by one-third to 46,000 jobs.
AWEA CEO Denise Bode adds emphasis concerning wind energy employment in America: “To create more jobs for people like Nathan, Congress must extend the Production Tax Credit as soon as possible.”
AWEA has made an aggressive first step in addressing issues concerning renewable wind energy. Hopefully, it continues what it has started, addressing questions about storage, noise, land use, and distribution – all critical questions as we advance forward in this century with growing energy demands.
Photo Credit: Great Beyond
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