Wind turbine blade on US tour

GE says the advanced technology wind turbine blade will travel 2436 miles through 9 states during the tour that terminates at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower trade show in Dallas, Texas, on May 23.

The tour began in South Dakota late last month and will include stops at a wind farm in Illinois, a museum in Ohio, the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky and a fiberglass manufacturing facility in Texas. The tour coincides with President Obama’s visit to the region focused on alternative energy and green jobs.

People who see the wind turbine blade at any stop can sign their name on the surface, to pledge support for a clean energy future and to urge US leaders to support innovative wind policies. The wind turbine blade will carry the message “I’m helping to build America’s energy future” to highlight the personal role of people in making clean energy a reality.

“Alternative energy solutions matter,” explains Vic Abate of GE’s Renewable Energy division. “America has the power to choose a better energy future.”

Wind energy needs right policy at federal level

“American technology and innovation can create a cleaner, smarter, more efficient energy economy that will create more growth, more exports and more American jobs, but we need the right policy at the federal level,” he adds.

Texas leads the US in installed wind energy capacity, followed by Iowa, California, Washington and Minnesota. All those states have enacted state-level renewable portfolio standards.

“The rest of the world is not standing still,” adds Abate. “China and Europe have already enacted robust, clean energy policies that are driving technology investments and creating real jobs.”

Wind energy supports 85,000 jobs in USA

Currently, wind energy generates 2% of US electricity, and provides power for 10.5 million homes. Last year, the US wind industry supported a total of 85,000 jobs in all 50 states.

A recent study by Navigant Consulting indicates that a robust renewable electricity standard (RES) can create 275,000 additional jobs in the renewable electricity industry by 2025.

“The need for congressional action this year could not be more urgent; without a national RES, the Navigant study shows we’ll actually lose some of the jobs we have today in places like Iowa and other Midwestern states,” adds Abate.