WIND AND JOBS
Blowing in the Wind: Jobs in the Wind Industry
Vivian Wagner, October 12, 2011 (E-Commerce Times)
"The wind industry is essentially built on turbines -- those large, hulking, spinning windmills set up in wind farms on and off shore. Many of the jobs in the industry are related to their design and manufacture -- more than 400 American manufacturing plants build wind components, including turbines, towers and blades. Any investment in wind power, therefore, is an investment in the manufacturing base of the country…
"…The second quarter of 2011 saw more than 1,003 megawatts of wind power capacity installed, and the wind industry has contributed upwards of 35 percent of all new generating capacity during the past four years, second only to natural gas…"
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"…[T]he U.S. wind market accounts for around 20 percent of the world's installed wind-generating capacity…[T]hat wind power has meant jobs for American workers -- around 85,000 of them currently…in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, project development, operations, maintenance, transportation and logistics…
"…[I]n the U.S., the states with the strongest presence in the wind industry are those with the most consistent and strong winds -- such as Texas, California and Iowa -- but there are other regions and local markets that are holding their own…Other variables that affect wind markets are the prevailing cost of electricity in the area and competition provided from other energy sources…"