This blog was written by Erin Bzymek, Press Secretary for the BlueGreen Alliance.
Wow! Nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year (including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears and generators) was made in America, up from just 35 percent in 2005, according to the Department of Energy. That statistic is impressive, but next to the percent of light-duty car parts made in the U.S., 60 percent, it speaks volumes about the success of America’s wind industry manufacturing capacity. The auto manufacturing industry has been around for over 100 years whereas wind industry related manufacturing has been around for much less.
There has been a lot of give and take in the economy since auto manufacturing became part of the foundation of the American economy. Now it’s time to once again make manufacturing a blue chip industry in our economy, and we have the chance to do that with wind industry manufacturing.
According to industry estimates, the wind energy industry supports 75,000 full-time jobs at more than 400 facilities across 43 states. The reason the wind industry has become so important to our economy is because of the Production Tax Credit, a 2.2-cent per kilowatt incentive for the wind industry that levels the playing field for renewable wind energy.
The wind industry manufacturing is unique in its diversity and reach across the country. Within the state of Ohio for example, over 30 facilities manufacture components for the wind industry including the turbines and nacelle components (such as the generator, gearbox and drive train). Iowa may not come to mind as a state that’s synonymous with renewable energy, but it’s a state producing the second highest amount of wind energy in the country. Iowa produces 4,322 mw of wind power – enough to power over one million homes.
All four corners of the continental U.S. are well-represented in wind industry related manufacturing: from Anacortes, Washington in the northwest, to Brunswick, Maine, to Sarasota County, Florida, to National City, California.
With a Congress that hasn't put forward any plan to create and sustain good jobs, including wind industry jobs, the BlueGreen Alliance came forward with a bold initiative that will create millions of good jobs that are also good for our environment.
The Production Tax Credit is an important component of our Jobs21! plan — which focuses on creating the jobs of the future and making our current jobs more secure in the industries that will drive economic growth and environmental sustainability for years to come.
America simply cannot afford to cede this growth, the manufacturing jobs and the environmental benefits the wind industry provides on a daily basis. We stand to lose everything we’ve gained from the wind industry unless the Production Tax Credit is renewed by Congress right away. Tell Congress today that you want to save American jobs by renewing the Production Tax Credit.