Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on June 15. The event serves as a way to inform and educate people on wind energy, its power and the possibilities it offers in helping the evolution of our energy systems, benefitting the environment and boosting job growth.
The growth in wind energy locally, as well as internationally, has given us a lot of things get excited about. Here are three reasons to celebrate Global Wind Day this year.
1. More Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that wind turbine technician is the fastest growing occupation, with the number of jobs expected to increase 108 percent between 2014 and 2024, resulting in 88,000 jobs. With long-term, stable policy and with a broader range of customers, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) projects that the U.S. could increase the number of wind energy jobs to 380,000 by 2030.
Wind power had a record growth year globally, too. Strong installation rates in China, the United States and Germany resulted in a 5-percent increase in global employment, to reach 1.1 million jobs, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
2. More Power
The World Wind Energy Association reported that 2015 was a record-setting year for growth in wind energy capacity – 63,690 megawatts of wind energy capacity were added in 2015, bringing the total wind capacity to 435 gigawatts.
And according to AWEA, wind energy was the largest source of new electric generating capacity that came online in the U.S. in 2015, at 41 percent of the market – more than solar energy or natural gas.
Internationally, wind energy is one of the fastest growing industrial sectors. Over $100 billion were invested in 2015, according to WindEurope.
3. More Benefits
The goal of renewable energy is not only to reduce our dependency on finite traditional energy sources, but also to find cleaner ways to generate energy and reduce pollution that affects our planet and our daily lives.
AWEA was recently able to quantify the health benefits that have come as a result of the growing wind industry – according to the organization’s annual report, wind cuts huge amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, harmful pollutants that cause smog and trigger health issues such as asthma attacks. In 2015 alone, this saved $7.3 billion on U.S. public health costs.