Originally published on The Climate Reality Project.
One of the best ways to create a sustainable future for our planet is to invest in sources of clean, renewable energy like wind. Wind energy isn’t just a clean alternative to the fossil fuels driving the climate crisis – it’s also an engine for job creation across the US.
As the coal industry continues to decline, many former fossil fuel workers in cities and towns across the US are seeing which way the wind is blowing and training for new careers in renewable energy. Our recent 24 Hours of Reality: Be the Voice of Reality global broadcast shared the story of one clean energy company in Casper, Wyoming, Goldwind Americas, driving this trend. The company runs Goldwind Works as a wind energy technician training program that teaches former fossil fuel workers to operate and maintain wind technology across the country.
As Goldwind Americas CEO David Halligan explains, “The current market for wind energy technicians is very, very bright.”
One reason is the decline of the fossil fuel industry in Wyoming and other areas across the US, which has created opportunities for experienced workers to transfer their valuable skills to new jobs in new sectors like wind. The good news is that growing numbers are already taking advantage of these opportunities, with recent employment data showing that the US wind sector put over 101,000 Americans to work in 2016 – a 32 percent increase from the previous year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that wind technician jobs are expected to increase 108 percent over the next decade.
Why is wind energy so viable in Wyoming? Thanks to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming experiences strong winds that are funneled through the center of the state’s flat, open land, creating the perfect conditions for generating wind energy.
The benefits the industry brings reach far beyond technician jobs. Investing in wind – not only in Wyoming but elsewhere in the United States and around the world – can also support employment in other fields like construction, engineering, transportation, and manufacturing. In fact, a recent study found that investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency create more jobs than expanding the fossil fuel sector. In 2015 alone, wind energy garnered over $109 billion in investments, or about one-third of all renewable energy investments during that year.
Ready to learn more about wind power potential? Check out the video above to hear Goldwind Works’ story and find out how wind energy is changing lives in Wyoming.
Then, take the next step and download our Top Wind Energy Myths e-book to find out why cities, states, countries, and companies around the world are increasingly turning to wind energy to power their everyday lives and businesses.
Reprinted with permission.
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