2019 looks set to be a big year for wind energy across the USA, we look at some of the stats and factors driving this growth.
In the 10 years to 2019 the cumulative capacity of wind energy has tripled to over 90,000 MW. Texas leads the nation with over 24,000 people employed in the wind energy sector. In 2017 four states produced more than 30% of their electricity from wind. Over $145 Billion has been invested in wind in the USA over the last 10 years. From our own perspective we’re seeing a huge increase in demand for our GWO training courses within a sector committed to employee safety.
With figures like these it’s no wonder the sector is booming and all this despite a national backdrop that is removing the nation from the Paris climate accords and trying to revive the failing coal industry. Whilst the investment numbers are staggering the drive to renewables could be seen as somewhat of a grass roots initiative. Despite the national agenda cities are pushing to be 100% renewable by 2035, we covered this last December when we focused on Cincinnati becoming the 100th city to commit to decarbonization.
This month we see the AWEA’s San Diego conference where the industry comes together to discuss and solve the issues that we face, not least due to the fast growth we are experiencing. It’s good to see that the industry is so committed to safety with GWO accreditations now being mandatory for wind turbine workers. The corporate sector is also doing it’s bit. It’s become common place to hear of large corporations like Facebook, WalMart and AT&T commit to wind energy for their electricity needs. It seems the people on the ground and in our corporations believe in wind energy as the solution to their long term sustainability plans which is great news all round.
In fact we are seeing somewhat of a snowball effect. Whether this is driven by need, necessity or great PR mileage it all signals a sector where wind turbine technician jobs are now one of the two fastest growing jobs in the USA. What’s also hugely encouraging are the large numbers of veterans who work within the wind sector. STL has a long history of working with veterans once they have finished serving their country, the skills they learn in the military translate perfectly to the wind sector which is why veterans are employed at a rate 72% above the national average.
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