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 Wind
Technologies Market Report, the United States remained one of the world’s largest
and fastest growing wind markets in 2011, with wind power representing a
remarkable 32% of all new electric capacity additions in the United States last
year and accounting for $14 billion in new investment.
According the report, the
percentage of wind equipment made in America also increased dramatically.
Nearly seventy percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last
yearâ€”including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears, and
generatorsâ€”is now from domestic manufacturers, doubling from 35% in 2005.
President Obama has made clear that clean, renewable wind energy is a critical
part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that aims to develop more secure,
domestic energy sources, while strengthening American manufacturing.
“This report shows that
America can lead the world in the global race to manufacture and deploy clean
energy technologies,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The wind
industry employs tens of thousands of American workers and has played a key
role in helping to more than double wind power over the last four years. To
ensure that this industry continues to stay competitive, President Obama has
called on Congress to extend the successful clean energy tax credits, which are
benefiting businesses and manufacturers nationwide.”
The report finds that in
2011, roughly 6,800 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity was added to the
U.S. grid, a 31% increase from 2010 installations. The United States’ wind
power capacity reached 47,000 MW by the end of 2011 and has since grown to
50,000 MW, enough electricity to power 13 million homes annually or as many as
in Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined.
The country’s cumulative installed wind energy capacity grew 16% from 2010, and
has increased more than18-fold since 2000. The report also finds that six
states now meet more than 10% of their total electricity needs with wind power.
The growth in the industry
has also led directly to more American jobs throughout a number of sectors and
at factories across the country. According to industry estimates, the wind
sector employs 75,000 American workers, including workers at manufacturing
facilities up and down the supply chain, as well as engineers and construction
workers who build and operate the wind farms.