The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported on the rapid job growth in the wind energy sector and its impact on the economy, quoting AEE's JR Tolbert. Read excerpts below and the entire piece here.
As many industries simply look for a path to survive the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, one industry has its eyes on exponential growth in the next decade. The amount of wind energy jobs — already at 9,000 to 10,000 — could double or triple over 10 years, with the right conditions, experts say.
“You can really see a pathway where wind comes back stronger than ever before in the state,” said J.R. Tolbert, managing director of Advanced Energy Economy, a national association of renewable energy companies.
“I wouldn’t put it in stone that there will be that many jobs, but the future is bright for wind energy if we can move policy at the state and federal level to make that happen...” (Tolbert)
“Policy will matter in the way wind comes out of the pandemic,” Tolbert said. “If Congress can come up with a plan that leans into domestic manufacturing, that’s going to help the entire clean energy industry...”
Wind energy, as with almost any other industry, has seen hiccups during the pandemic. New projects have taken the brunt of the economic fallout.
“It’s more difficult to get capital into the market than it should be or has previously been,” Tolbert said.
But it’s not as bad as other parts of the renewable energy sector, the Advanced Energy Economy’s Tolbert said.
“Unlike rooftop solar, you don’t have to go into a home to do (the installation),” Tolbert said.
Read the entire The Gazette piece here.