Wind Energy’s Economic Impact

The midwest (Kansas in particular) has one of the highest potentials for wind speed.

Wind turbines are popping up all over the country, especially in Kansas. They’re hard to ignore, and there’s no doubt they are here to stay.

A new study found that for each megawatt of wind capacity, a county gains half a job. And with 47,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity installed in the U.S. today, that’s a significant economic impact.

The authors of the study specifically measured what the wind industry means for rural counties in states such as Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas.

The study included 1,009 counties and found that for every megawatt installed, total county personal income increased by $11,150 over the 2000 to 2008 period. And for every megawatt installed in a county, one half of a job was created.

From 2007 to 2010, wind energy contributed about 36 percent of all new electric generation built in the U.S. And the number continues to grow as more counties are seeing the benefit of wind power as a clean, renewable source of energy.

Find out more about the benefits of wind power.

* The five authors of the report, “Ex post analysis of economic inpacts from wind power development in U.S. counties,” are Jason P. Brown and John Pender of the USDA’s Economic Research Service; Ryan Wiser and Ben Hoen of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Eric Lantz of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The article appears in Energy Economics 34 (2012), pages 1743-1754.

Source: Daily Yonder

Leave a Reply