Author: Bridget Cameron specializes in content & communications at Renewable Choice
Love is in the air – literally! This Valentine’s Day, the team at Renewable Choice would like to show our appreciation for our long-time love affair with wind energy. In honor of #iheartwind month, presented by AWEA, we dedicate today’s blog to our favorite benefits of this attractive energy option. This is why we love wind:
Wind is the top renewable energy source in America
Wind works – period. Affordable, stable-priced, and competitive, wind power delights both residential and industrial customers alike with the value it can provide, making it no surprise that wind recently overtook hydro as America’s largest source of renewable capacity. Increasingly, the brands that drive America’s economy, including corporations such as Google and General Motors, are turning towards wind to power their operations. By locking in a low price for wind energy, these organizations not only save money, which can then be passed onto consumers, but they also have the opportunity to play a vital role in cleaning up the mix of energy that flows onto the electrical grid. This increase in clean power onto the grid contributes to the fact that Americans are spending less money on energy bills than ever before. Who doesn’t love that?
Wind brings jobs to where they are needed most
A recent Department of Energy report indicated that over 100,000 Americans are currently employed by the wind industry. These jobs are overwhelmingly found in states where fossil-based and manufacturing jobs are dwindling; more than 99% of wind farms are installed in economically strapped, rural areas. Wind jobs bridge the gap in these rural areas where similar skills and experience translate into increased job opportunities for residents. Across all job sectors, wind turbine technician saw the fastest growth rate in 2016, topping out at 108%. 2017 is expected to follow in the footsteps of 2016. This astronomical job creation rate is predicted to double-down over the next 10 years, mobilizing a large portion of Middle America’s untapped resources.
Wind provides cleaner air for our families and future generations
Quite possibly the greatest differentiator between wind power and conventional energy sources is wind’s ability to leave the world a better, healthier place. Fossil-fuel energy generation emits harmful byproducts including planet-warming greenhouse gases like CO2, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other particulates. Excess amounts of these materials in the atmosphere result in smog and acid rain, along with a plethora of human health impacts such as chronic respiratory illness, cancer, and even premature death.
Wind power, on the other hand, produces minimal byproducts throughout all phases of its lifecycle, from manufacturing to generation. In 2015 alone, avoided emissions resulting from new wind farms in the U.S. were attributed to having saved American families over $7 billion in health costs. Through 2050, wind could potentially prevent up to 21,700 premature deaths, over 10,000 asthma-related emergency room visits, and nearly 2.5 million missed school days. The cumulative savings for this improved health exceeds $100 billion.
These are a few of our favorite examples that demonstrate wind energy’s powerful force for change, but there are certainly many more advantages. What are your favorite benefits of wind power? Share with us why you love wind by tagging @RenewableChoice along with the hashtag #iheartwind on Twitter, or by reposting this blog on LinkedIn with your comments.