The American Wind Energy Association recently issued its U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2017, and—spoiler alert—the United States is second in both global installed wind power capacity and wind energy generation. Wind now supplies 6.3% of America’s electricity and accounts for 30% of the electricity produced in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Wind is also a major player in Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Texas—all red states—proving that renewables garner bipartisan support. And, why shouldn’t it? More than 500 wind-related manufacturing facilities support 105,000 jobs, and every state has some wind-related facility or project within its borders.
This report should disrupt the perception that renewables are only supported by those that lean to the political left. Wind spans the political spectrum and benefits all Americans by increasing private investment in rural America, providing career opportunities, breathing revenue into state coffers, and promoting national security. That’s probably why wind projects and facilities are present and supported in 75% of Republican congressional districts and 62% of Democratic districts.
The Western Way supports an all-of-the-above energy policy, and wind energy is one of the nation’s most robust resources. It should come as no surprise that the top 5 states leading the U.S. in wind energy production are conservative. We are the party of conservation, and we are proud to support an industry that promotes cheap, reliable, and sustainable energy.