Wind Energy & Manufacturing
Wind power creates new high-paying jobs in a wide variety of industries. This includes direct jobs installing, operating, and maintaining wind turbines, as well as jobs at manufacturing facilities that produce wind turbines, blades, electronic components, gearboxes, generators, towers, and other equipment. Indirect jobs in the industries that support these activities are also created.
Wind sector employment increased from 50,500 at the end of 2013 to 73,000 at the end of 2014, resulting in a 30% increase in the job market. More than half of the content used to build turbines domestically is built in the United States. Domestic nacelle assembly capability stood at roughly 9 gigawatts in 2014, and the United States also had the capability of producing approximately 7 gigawatts of blades and 7 gigawatts of towers annually.
The following links provide more information about wind energy and manufacturing.
American Wind Energy Association. U.S. Wind Energy Industry Manufacturing & Supply Chain
The American Wind Energy Association dedicates a section of its website to wind energy manufacturing, highlighting various industry statistics.
Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Careers in Wind Energy
This resource defines the various jobs created by wind energy development in the United States and includes information on the manufacturing phase of wind energy development.
Congressional Research Service. 2012. U.S. Wind Turbine Manufacturing: Federal Support for an Emerging Industry
This report, prepared for Congress, discusses the U.S. wind turbine manufacturing industry, its supply chain, employment and international trade trends, major federal policy efforts aimed at supporting the industry, and issues affecting its future.
Great Lakes Wind Network
The Great Lakes Wind Network is an international supply chain advisory group and network of manufacturers that works to increase the domestic content of North America’s wind turbines.
Lantz, E.; Oteri, F.; Tegen, S.; Doris, E. 2010. State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA): State Policy and the Pursuit of Renewable Energy Manufacturing. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
This report focuses on renewable energy manufacturing’s role in economic development and discusses policy best practices for pursuing renewable energy manufacturing facilities.
National Resources Defense Council. 2012. American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production
This report quantifies the number of jobs supported by a 250-MW wind project, including manufacturing-specific estimates that reflect multiple components.
U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Wind Manufacturing Facilities Map
The Department of Energy has a Wind Manufacturing Facilities map that highlights component manufacturers across the United States.
U.S. Department of Energy. Wind Technologies Market Report
The Department of Energy's Wind Technologies Market Report is an annual production with a section that highlights wind energy manufacturing activities.
Wisconsin Wind Works
Wisconsin Wind Works is a consortium of nearly 300 suppliers and manufacturers working to satisfy foreign and domestic wind power supply chain needs. It is a collaborative initiative of New North, Inc., a regional non-profit economic development organization dedicated to building powerful supply chain partnerships to encourage business development in wind energy. Wisconsin Wind Works website features multiple Wisconsin specific resources pertaining to wind energy manufacturing.