- Published: 20 April 2017 20 April 2017
American wind power added jobs over 9 times faster than the overall economy amid robust growth for another year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which released its 2016 US Wind Industry Annual Market Report. Installing over 8,000MW of new wind power for a second straight year, the US industry invested over US$ 14 billion in 2016 in new wind farms built in rural America, and now supports 102,500 jobs.
With total US wind capacity at 82,143MW at the start of the year, there’s now enough wind to power 24 million typical American homes. Domestic wind-related manufacturing jobs grew 17 per cent to over 25,000 US factory jobs, as three new factories opened in 2016 to begin supplying the wind industry, and at least five more plants expanded their facilities. Expanding wind farms continues to largely benefit rural America, since over 99 per cent of wind farms are built in rural communities. According to the 2016 annual market report, wind now pays over US$ 245 million per year in land-lease payments to local landowners, often farmers and ranchers. Over 74 per cent of US congressional districts have operational wind energy projects or active wind-related manufacturing facilities, according to the report. Wind generation grew nearly 19 per cent during 2016, and as of the start of this year provides 5.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity.