Wind Now Employs More Than Coal In U.S.

The wind industry now employs more people than coal mining in the United States. Wind industry jobs jumped 70 percent in 2008 from the previous year, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association.

The wind energy sector now employs 85,000 people in the country, up from 50,000 one year ago.  Wind sector jobs are varied and include turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more.

In contrast, coal mining employs about 81,000 workers, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Energy report.

The new wind projects completed in 2008 account for 42 percent of new power-producing capacity added nationally last year, and will avoid nearly 44 million tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking over 7 million cars off of the road.

Published: February 3, 2009