The future of Wind in the United States:
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a report that examines the technical feasibility of using wind energy to generate 20% of the nation's electricity demand by 2030. Some experts believe this will happen as early as 2020.
Read the DOE report for yourself: 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply
According to the American Wind Energy Association, in order to meet our nation's 20% production goal by 2030, the industry would have to more than double, creating the need for more than 70,000 new turbines to be installed in the coming decades.
The future of Wind in West Michigan:
We are certain wind power is coming to Michigan. In fact, the state legislature passed a bi-partisan bill (SB213) requring that 10% of the State's energy come from renewable resources by 2015 (see who voted for it). And, this is just the beginning.
With our unique geographic location and world-class manufacturing capabilities, West Michigan has the potential to be the leading state in the nation for wind power innovation— which means JOBS.
Types of wind energy jobs and job growth:
According to Grand Rapids'-based The Right Place, "West Michigan’s alternative energy industry has the potential to generate more than $1.2 billion and 4,330 jobs for our economy by 2013," and with new and future legislative action, alternative energy related job growth has the potential to increase exponentially.
The demand will generate tremendous opportunity for labor, and parts and equipment production. It will also create new entrants into the industry, and an increase in demand for service industries, such as construction, transportation, legal, financial, safety, and operations and maintenance. Read more on the wind industry's supply chain.
If you're interested in various careers in the wind industry, as well as statistics on the growth of alternative energy occupations, read this report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.