American Wind Week 2020: Wind Builds the Future
About American Wind Week:
American Wind Week is an annual celebration of ways wind energy is powering a future fueled by clean, reliable, affordable electricity and contributing to a strong 21st century economy. It’s a time to showcase and thank the wind energy workforce and recognize the nearly unmatched investment wind is bringing to rural communities across the country. Now in its fourth year, American Wind Week 2020 will take place August 9 – August 15 and highlight all the ways "Wind Builds the Future."
Protecting Clean Energy Progress During COVID-19:
While American Wind Week celebrates America’s wind energy accomplishments and recognizes the men and women delivering on the promise of affordable, reliable, clean energy, the pandemic has put that progress at risk.
Fortunately, the Administration and Congress can make three simple policy changes that will help the energy sector and save American jobs:
- Provide alternative financing options to the tax equity market – reductions in the availability of tax equity caused by the pandemic have resulted in a situation where credit-worthy wind projects need additional options for securing construction capital. A fix referred to as “direct pay” that allows developers to monetize federal tax credits will provide developers with access to the capital needed to continue investing and creating new jobs.
- Preserve U.S. progress on offshore wind by extending the sector’s “safe harbor” period to seven years – the additional time will help offshore wind project developers accommodate delays caused by the pandemic. This move will help protect up to 83,000 jobs and $57 billion in investment by 2030.
- Allow for safe harbor considerations to all land-based and offshore wind projects that demonstrate a continuous effort to make progress towards completion– to qualify for the federal tax credits, wind projects must demonstrate ongoing progress towards completion. Given the rapidly changing circumstances, allowing projects to show progress through “continuous efforts” will provide flexibility to accommodate COVID-19 delays.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented challenges to the U.S. healthcare system, disruptions to daily life across the country, and deep uncertainty across the economy. As the world manages the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, the American wind industry continues to stand with our communities in support.
We Are the Wind Workforce:
120K+ wind employees strong
530+ U.S. factories
50 state footprint
We are building the future
With a workforce of 120,000 strong and more than 530 U.S. factories building wind turbine parts, the wind workforce has stepped up to keep the lights on for millions of American families and businesses during the unprecedented global pandemic. And with wind technician as the country’s 2nd fastest growing job and U.S. veterans finding wind jobs 61 percent higher than the average industry, the career talent pipeline is vast, ensuring a highly skilled future workforce.
This American Wind Week, we asked our wind workforce and wind students: How are you helping wind build the future? Learn how they feel about their individual contributions to deliver a future powered by affordable, clean energy in our new video:
“Wind Builds the Future” by spurring job creation
America’s 120,000 wind workers are building a future powered by affordable, reliable, homegrown clean energy. With a 50-state footprint, our essential workforce is on the front lines keeping the lights on at homes, hospitals, and grocery stores every day as the country continues to navigate challenging times. More than ever, electricity is a necessity, not a luxury, and our wind workers are ensuring that need is met.
Over 26,000 U.S. workers have manufacturing jobs building wind turbine components like blades and nacelles and internal components like bearings and fasteners, spread across more than 530 U.S. wind-related manufacturing facilities.
The U.S. wind industry employs veterans at a rate 61 percent above the national average, providing good opportunities for the men and women who serve our country when they leave active duty.
“Wind Builds the Future” by stimulating the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery
In a time of economic uncertainty, wind power is bringing jobs, new revenue, and opportunity to communities across the country. Wind energy is one of the few industries creating new manufacturing jobs and the wind project pipeline is at a near-record high.
U.S. offshore wind is exactly the kind of once-in-a-generation opportunity we need to take advantage of as we recover from the pandemic-induced recession. AWEA research finds U.S. offshore wind will deliver up to $25 billion per year in new economic activity and will support up to 83,000 well-paying jobs by 2030. Future land-based and offshore wind projects will provide the necessary growth needed in the post-pandemic economic recovery and wind power stands ready to play a leading role in the recovery.
“Wind Builds the Future” by supporting communities across America
Besides providing clean and renewable electricity to consumers, wind development has delivered a range of benefits to communities across the country, especially in rural areas where most wind projects are located.
The wind industry continues to support communities impacted by COVID-19 and is recommitting to building a diverse and inclusive energy industry workforce at all levels from the frontlines to the corporate offices.
“Wind Builds the Future” by powering American business
More businesses than ever before are choosing wind energy to power operations and reach sustainability goals as wind’s low-costs and stable prices are good for the bottom line and the environment.
And when companies invest in and partner with the wind energy industry, the community benefits. From creating jobs to providing college scholarships and additional tax revenue and sources of income, wind energy is helping communities grow across America.
How the wind workforce and wind students can get involved during American Wind Week 2020:
Help AWEA showcase the wind workforce and students in the wind career pipeline during American Wind Week 2020. Submit a photo or video of yourself in the field or classroom and tell us how you are helping wind build the future. All week long we’ll feature wind workers on our social media channels. Wind technicians, factory workers, engineers, project developers, construction workers, marketing, human resources, finance staff and more are all part of the story, and we want to spotlight everyone’s contributions.
Wind Week History
AWEA hosted the inaugural “American Wind Week” in 2017 in celebration of wind power emerging as America’s #1 source of renewable energy capacity. Since then, every August elected officials across the country are invited to visit wind farms and factories to learn more about wind technology and show their support. Americans across the political spectrum participate in company and community-organized events and share their support for wind on social media.