Record Breaking Year for Wind Energy Production in the United States

2016 has been dubbed the year of action for manufacturers by Industry Week. This was regarding the explosive adoption of Internet of Things technology throughout the manufacturing industry. However, 2015 seemed to be the year of action for wide-spread use of renewable energy. There have been incredible milestones reached in renewable energy production around the world, but now the U.S. has reached their own impressive milestone and wind power is at the heart of it all.

According to data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States continues to lead the world in wind energy production. Iowa in particular has shown just how much energy wind can produce as they, for the first time in the history of the country, produced over 30% of their annual energy needs by wind power alone. Even though Iowa takes first place with 31% of their energy being produced by wind, they’re not the only state that generated an impressive amount of electricity from wind turbines. Kansas, South Dakota and of course Iowa all generated more than 20% of their electricity from wind in 2015.

“The U.S. is blessed with world-class wind resources, – We’re tapping into this homegrown resource more than ever thanks to American innovation and U.S. workers building some of the most productive wind turbines in the world. Now more than ever, low-cost, stably-priced, zero-emission wind energy is keeping our air clean and cutting costs for consumers. American wind power is well on its way to supplying 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030.” a statement made by Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy

Iowa’s Governor, Terry Branstad also serves as Chairman of the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition which could be a contributing factor into Iowa’s commitment to renewable energy. “We’ve seen exponential growth in wind energy and the data released today reinforces what we’ve been seeing in every corner of our state. With potential to jump above 40% in the next five years, we are committed to building an even greener Iowa future that will provide our Iowa families with cleaner, renewable energy and job opportunities.” Said Branstad.

Not only is the booming wind power industry a great thing for the environment, it also creates tens of thousands of jobs across the country. As oil rings close down and ex-oil workers are stuck without work, the wind and solar sectors are looking for new employees. Wind power alone supports 73,000 well-paying jobs across all 50 states. Beyond just installation, 20,000 American workers at over 500 different factories across 43 states manufacture parts for wind turbines and the materials associated with the production process. The Department of Energy envisions that by 2030 wind energy will account for 20% of U.S. electricity and support 380,000 jobs. Wind energy isn’t just catching on, it’s having a monumental impact on the energy industry and the country as a whole.