We love AWEA’s map on how US wind has grown over 35 years


August 10, 2017

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US pranksters have this week installed a giant inflatable chicken with President Trump’s hair on a lawn opposite the White House. They say this is a protest against Trump being a “weak and ineffective leader” and, on that basis, we can only imagine Trump is praying for a strong wind to blow it away.

Not that Trump is a fan of wind. Not only does it play havoc with his hair during his many days on the golf course, but it also powers an industry that Trump has fought against before, during and after his successful presidential run. He sees wind farms as only reliable at one thing: mincing eagles.

But the industry has remained resolute that Trump will not derail the growth of US wind, and are now fighting to prove the important of the US wind sector. Today, the American Wind Energy Association has released an online map that lets people see the location of every US wind farm and wind-related manufacturing facility.

The release coincides with the first American Wind Week, and is designed to show people — not least The Donald — how important the wind industry is for US jobs and growth. So far, projects totalling 2.4GW have been completed this year to take the total headline capacity of US wind farms to just shy of 85GW.

The map gives a great indication of the scale of US wind now. John Hensley, deputy director of industry data and analysis at AWEA, said wind now supports more than 100,000 jobs across all 50 US states; and more than 500 manufacturing facilities. You can check out the map here.

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It’s a neat tool, and we particularly like the time lapse function. This shows how the wind industry has expanded in the US over the last 35 years. Starting in California in the early 1980s, it then grew into the north of the country in the early 1990s before taking off in its current Texas and Midwest heartlands since the late 1990s.

Whether you are a relative newcomer to the sector like me or a longstanding pro, this is a great demonstration of what US wind has achieved over the last 35 years. It is also an indication of what the sector has to build on during Trump’s tenure, and long after he has left the White House.

Although, with the threat of nuclear war between the US and North Korea, let’s just hope we still have a world then. Maybe it wasn’t the best time to start calling Trump a ‘chicken’!

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