Wind Energy Has Many Potential Positives

Wind Energy Has Many Potential Positives

Analysis shows that expanding wind energy would create a lot of jobs.

The Center for Rural Affairs has released an analysis on the economic potential of wind energy development. The report addresses economic impact, job creation and wind resources in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. According to the report expanding production of renewable electricity to 20% of the nation's electrical generation has the potential to create a large number of new jobs in the rural Midwest and Great Plains.


The analysis projects that Kansas would gain nearly 3,100 long-term jobs in operations and maintenance of wind farms, Nebraska over 3,500 jobs, South Dakota over 3,900 jobs and Iowa over 9,000 jobs. An even higher number of medium-term jobs, averaging one year in duration, would be created. These jobs would be related to manufacturing, site preparation and turbine construction. Nationally, reaching 20% of electrical generation from wind would result in 1.75 million full-time jobs during wind turbine construction and 1.6 million new, permanent operational jobs.


The American Clean Energy Leadership Act is the key to this success. The Act would facilitate development of a national interstate electric transmission grid to move electricity from areas that have the resources for renewable production to areas with high demand. The bill also includes a critically important Renewable Electricity Standard. It would ostensibly require that 12% of the nation's electric generation come from renewable sources, not 20%, including wind, solar, geothermal, new hydroelectric, biomass and landfill generation, by the year 2021.

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