Employment & Environmental Impacts

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  • As of the end of 2013, the U.S. wind energy industry supported 50,500 full-time equivalent (FTE)* jobs directly associated with wind energy project planning, siting, development, construction, manufacturing and supply chain, and operations.
  • Texas, the largest state in the nation for installed wind capacity and new wind capacity led the nation in wind jobs with over 8,000 employed in the wind industry. Texas was followed by Iowa, California, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Oregon and New York.
  • In 2013, the 167.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) generated by wind energy avoided an estimated 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 4.4%, or taking over 16.9 million cars off the road.
  • The 12,000 MW of wind power capacity under construction at the end of 2013 would reduce another 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) when it is operational — the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by another 1%.
  • In 2013, generation reductions at fossil fuel-powered plants as a result of wind energy generation led to water consumption savings of 36.5 billion gallons of water – the equivalent of roughly 116 gallons per person in the U.S. or conserving the equivalent of 276 billion bottles of water.
  • The U.S. has invested nearly $120 billion in wind energy projects across the U.S. over the past decades, with the state of Texas seeing the single largest investment of $22 billion.
  • The value of wind project development flows toward the local community through land lease payments. With over 98% of all wind energy projects on private land, wind energy projects deliver at least $180 million annually in lease payments to landowners.
  • Other local benefits include property tax payments, payments in lieu of taxes, and increased local spending plus its associated tax revenue. These local benefits are often used toward community development such as schools, libraries, and hospitals.

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 Source: AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2013 ©

Also in the Report

  • Wind Industry Employment, over Time
  • Wind Industry Employment, by Sector
  • Wind Energy Impact on Avoiding Water Consumption
  • Wind Energy Investment, by State
  • Wind Energy Land Lease Payments, by State