Wind Jobs Could Increase, Subject to Policy Support
Wind energy provides the most energy jobs in countries such as Germany and Spain that support long-term investment in wind power generation, according to EarthTrends, maintained by the World Resources Institute. That is not the case in the United States, which supports wind energy through federal production tax credits. Since these credits periodically expire or are renewed, jobs are lost or gained accordingly.
The installed wind power capacity in the United States has grown steadily since 1998, and especially since 2006, which illustrates the importance of policy support, including the introduction of state-level programs, according to EarthTrends.
A chart of average total employment for different energy technologies (coal, natural gas, nuclear, and wind) shows that wind produces the greatest numbers of job-years per gigawatt hours of energy produced, especially in the category of construction, installation and manufacturing. Constituting only small fraction of total energy produced, wind does not yet employ a large percentage of those in the energy production field, but its potential is significant in areas of both manufacturing and skilled scientific, engineering, and service roles.