American wind industry jobs and turbine deployment regained momentum heading into 2015, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported in releasing its 2014 results in the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.
The U.S. wind industry added 23,000 jobs in 2014, boosting the sector’s total to 73,000 jobs. 2015 began with 12,700 MW of wind projects under construction, a record for the start of any year.
“These results show that extending the Production Tax Credit for wind power in 2013 was good for business in America,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’ve got a mainstream, Made-in-the-USA product that supports jobs in every state and is gaining momentum. With a more predictable policy we can add more jobs and keep this American success story going.”
Four times more new wind generating capacity came online last year than in 2013. 2013 wind deployment was down 92 percent from 2012 levels because of policy uncertainty caused by the brief lapse of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) at the end of 2012. That lapse resulted in the loss of 30,000 wind industry jobs in America.
In the U.S. wind manufacturing sector specifically, wind now employs nearly 20,000 workers in more than 500 facilities across 43 states, in addition to 53,000 other jobs in project development, construction, operations, and other parts of the industry. The U.S. wind industry drove $12 billion in private investment last year, for a total of more than $100 billion since 2008.
A U.S. Department of Energy report released last month shows that wind energy can double within the next five years to supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020, 20 percent by 2030, and 35 percent by 2050.
Click here to access the AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Market Reports for 2014.