The Energy Department released a new report today highlighting strong growth in the U.S. wind energy market in 2011, increasing the United States’ share of clean energy and supporting tens of thousands of jobs, and underscoring the importance of continued policy support and clean energy tax credits to ensure that the manufacturing and jobs associated
The Energy Department released a new report today highlighting strong growth in the U.S. wind energy market in 2011, increasing the United States’ share of clean energy and supporting tens of thousands of jobs, and underscoring the importance of continued policy support and clean energy tax credits to ensure that the manufacturing and jobs associated with this booming global industry remain in America.
According to the 2011 WindÂ Technologies Market Report, the United States remained one of the world’s largestÂ and fastest growing wind markets in 2011, with wind power representing aÂ remarkable 32% of all new electric capacity additions in the United States lastÂ year and accounting for $14 billion in new investment.
According the report, theÂ percentage of wind equipment made in America also increased dramatically.Â Nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms lastÂ yearâ€”including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears, andÂ generatorsâ€”is now from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35% in 2005.
President Obama has made clear that clean, renewable wind energy is a criticalÂ part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that aims to develop more secure,Â domestic energy sources, while strengthening American manufacturing.
“This report shows thatÂ America can lead the world in the global race to manufacture and deploy cleanÂ energy technologies,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The windÂ industry employs tens of thousands of American workers and has played a keyÂ role in helping to more than double wind power over the last four years. ToÂ ensure that this industry continues to stay competitive, President Obama hasÂ called on Congress to extend the successful clean energy tax credits, which areÂ benefiting businesses and manufacturers nationwide.”
The report finds that inÂ 2011, roughly 6,800 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity was added to theÂ U.S. grid, a 31% increase from 2010 installations. The United States’ windÂ power capacity reached 47,000 MW by the end of 2011 and has since grown toÂ 50,000 MW, enough electricity to power 13 million homes annually or as many asÂ in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined.Â
The country’s cumulative installed wind energy capacity grew 16% from 2010, andÂ has increased more than 18-fold since 2000. The report also finds that sixÂ states now meet more than 10% of their total electricity needs with wind power.
The growth in the industryÂ has also led directly to more American jobs throughout a number of sectors andÂ at factories across the country. According to industry estimates, the windÂ sector employs 75,000 American workers, including workers at manufacturingÂ facilities up and down the supply chain, as well as engineers and constructionÂ workers who build and operate the wind farms.