A new report from the American Wind Energy Association says 2018 was a record year for the wind industry in the United States, and Texas led the nation.
AWEA, the national trade group for United States wind power that represents over 1,000 companies, shared the findings from their 2018 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report during a press conference at the Greater Houston Partnership on April 9.
Among the highlights: wind power in the U.S. grew 8% last year, and it supports a record 114,000 American jobs and over 500 domestic factories. The industry also accounts for more than $1 billion a year in revenue for states and communities that host wind farms.
AWEA officials say Texas is the national wind industry leader, producing nearly a quarter of all U.S. wind energy. That means if Texas were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for wind power capacity with nearly 25,000 megawatts (MW) installed.
"In many ways, the Texas wind story is the story of American wind power," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. "“Texas has a long and storied history of energy production and as today’s report demonstrates, wind is an important part of the state’s energy success story."
Texas is also number one in wind energy jobs in the country, with more than 25,000 Texans working in the industry. AWEA says wind power is contributing to a boom in American renewable energy jobs. The group highlighted data from the Bureau Labor Statistics, which says wind turbine service technician is the second fastest growing job in the U.S. after solar installer, and the U.S. added 8,500 wind power jobs last year.
AWEA noted nearly 40 companies have purchased, or are committed to buying, nearly 5,000 MW of wind energy in Texas, including Fortune 500 brands like AT&T, ExxonMobil and Shell Energy.
AWEA's report comes just a month before the organization is hosting their national conference here in Houston.The conference, themed Wind +, Powering the Future Together, will be held at the George R. Brown from May 20 – 23.