Wind Turbines: Creating Energy (and Jobs)

wind turbine in a field

Taking a drive through the Midwest, you’ll probably notice something you don’t see as much in other parts of the country: wind turbines.

These windmill-like structures were developed to generate more electricity. Their development began over the increasing concern for energy security, global warming, and eventual fossil fuel depletion.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the state of Nebraska was ranked fourth in wind energy resources in 2013. Nearly 1.8 billion kilowatthours were generated by utility-scale wind energy in Nebraska.

There are twelve wind turbine sites throughout Nebraska.

Now, the United States as a whole has began to take steps toward future energy sustainability by moving toward energy independence. And the one area that the country is hoping to focus more on is wind power, because currently, only four percent of all energy comes from wind.

The U.S. Department of Energy believes that wind power could supply 20% of all U.S. electricity by 2020, and the rest of the country is hoping to take a page from the Midwest and Western states who have been using wind turbines for a few years.

Half of the production of electricity from wind in the U.S. comes from two areas: the West North Central U.S. (including Nebraska) and the West South Central U.S.

This news of America’s decision to further wind energy is good news for wind turbine manufacturers. Two years ago, wind energy installations boomed to 13.1 gigawatts, and have been only going upwards at a steady pace since.

The United States Energy Department has also said that America’s increase in share of clean, renewable energy is supporting tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs nationwide.

For the past few years, America has been one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing wind markets in the world. If Nebraska can continue to be one of the leading contenders in generating wind energy, then more and more jobs will become available.

Across the state, organizations are petitioning for more wind energy projects.

The American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) is pushing for wind energy in rural communities across the state. The ACGF believes rural Nebraska still has a long way to go until it catches up with neighboring states.

Though America is pushing for more production of wind energy and Nebraska is fourth highest in production, a continued push by Nebraska towards more wind and energy projects would mean more manufacturing jobs in the state. What’s next in the world of sustainable energy manufacturing? Hard to say—but for now, these wind turbines are a great source of energy and jobs.

photo credit: Sony200boy via photopin cc