The US wind power industry reached a record job high of 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, up 20% in the space of a year.
According to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the American wind power industry supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, an increase of 20% over 2015. The report, US Wind Industry Annual Market Report, Year Ending 2015, heralded the strong job growth in the sector with the recent news that wind topped new energy capacity in the US in 2015.
“Wind power benefits more American families than ever before,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re helping young people in rural America find a job close to home. Others are getting a fresh chance to rebuild their careers by landing a job in the booming clean energy sector. With long-term, stable policy in place, and a broader range of customers now buying low-cost wind-generated electricity, our workforce can grow to 380,000 well-paying jobs by 2030.”
According to the AWEA, 2015’s job growth is primarily attributable to the increase in wind project development across the country, which required more than 38,000 employees. The country’s wind manufacturing industry also experienced a stabilization, and now supports 21,000 jobs across 43 states — up 10%.
Texas, unsurprisingly, leads with over 24,000 wind energy jobs, with Oklahoma moving into second place with 7,000 jobs, thanks to wind project construction. The top five is filled out with Iowa and Colorado both with 6,000 jobs, and Kansas, moving up 11 spots, now with over 5,000 jobs.
Jobs at wind farms, wind-related manufacturing facilities, or both, are now located in 70% of US Congressional districts.