Further analysis of the US wind energy sector by Navigant Consulting shows that the state of Iowa could support more than 17,000 wind-related jobs by 2020.
The analysis is a continuation of analysis publicized earlier this month, by Navigant Consulting, which suggested the US wind energy sector could drive up to 248,000 jobs and $85 billion in economic activity over the next four years. The US wind industry already supports more than 100,000 jobs across all 50 US states, but Navigant Consulting believes that number will increase to 248,000 total jobs by 2020, helping to deliver 35,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity through 2020.
Writing on Monday, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), in conjunction with the Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA), highlighted further analysis from Navigant which showed the state of Iowa could support more than 17,000 wind energy-related jobs and over $9 billion in additional economic activity by 2020.
More specifically, the Navigant analysis predicts wind-related jobs could reach 11,500 across wind companies and in the supply chain by 2020. When you include the additional jobs created in the communities that surround the wind farms and factories, that number could rise to 17,300. By 2020, Navigant predicts Iowa will only fall behind Texas and Colorado in terms of the most wind-related jobs.
“Governor Terry Branstad knows wind works for Iowa and it’s largely thanks to him that over 17,000 wind-related jobs in Iowa are possible in just a few years,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.
“Wind does not provide just well-paying jobs either, many Iowans also know wind farms are the new ‘drought-resistant cash crop’ in Iowa, paying up to $20 million a year to Iowa farmers. Wind is already responsible for more than 36 percent of Iowa’s electricity generation, and with recent project announcements, the state will push past 40 percent in the coming years. We’re going to work with elected officials in Iowa to make sure that happens.”
The analysis also predicts up to $9 billion in additional economic activity for the state of Iowa, including investments in new wind projects, turbine operations and maintenance, land lease payments, as well as sales, income, and property tax payments — which on their own will amount to more than $370 million over the next four years. Iowa is expected to only fall behind Texas in terms of the total economic activity generated by wind projects by 2020.
“Iowa’s become a national leader in wind energy thanks to Gov. Branstad’s own leadership,” said John Boorman, Vice President of IWEA. “Iowans can continue to benefit from growing low-cost, reliable wind energy here in the Hawkeye State as Lt. Gov. Reynolds follows in his footsteps.”
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