Campus Essentials - Wind Powers 15 Million Homes
Wind Energy or “Alternative Energy” career opportunities are growing at a steady rate. According to American Wind Energy Association, Ellen Carey says, “In this historic year of achievement, wind energy for the first time became the number one source of new U.S. electric generating capacity, providing some 42 percent of all new generating capacity; the final tally will be released in April in AWEA’s annual report. In fact, 2012 was a strong year for all renewables, as together they accounted for over 55 percent of all new U.S. generating capacity.”
Global Warming, clean air and conserving natural resource are some of the impetuses to alternative energy. Many states such as Michigan have moved to take advantage of these growing occurrences. The AWEA announced that the “U.S . . . wind energy produced enough electrical to power the equivalent of almost 15 million homes, or the number in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio combined.”
The AWEA is the quoted data source of the Bureau of Labor. According to AWEA, an estimated “85,000 Americans are currently employed in the wind power industry and related fields”. He says, “Many workers are found on wind farms, which are frequently located in the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast regions of the United States. Texas, Iowa, and California are the leading States in wind power generating capacity, but many other States—including Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington—are in the process of substantially increasing their wind-generating capacity.”
The Office of Occupational statistics and Employment Drew Liming says, “Wind turbine technicians. also called wind techs, repair and maintain the complicated machinery inside wind turbines. Repairs include everything from fixing circuit boards and motors to inspecting turbine blades to replacing generator components. Maintenance involves more routine tasks, such as replacing light bulbs inside the turbine.”
Wind turbines are designed to generate electricity through the natural force of wind. Wind subsequently is applied to the wind turbine blades, which cause them to spin. The blades spin, a torque shaft and generator create kinetic energy that can be used in the same way that electricity produced in natural gas or coal power plants can be used.
Green energy or alternative energy source and development is still in its early stages, and therefore, the industry’s source is evolving. The operations associated with wind energy production are complex, as seen in the description of the wind turbine process. Knowledge of electrical and mechanical systems inside turbines is required to become a wind technician. Wind techs study and learn about electrical theory, motors, generators and hydraulics, according to BLS Outlook.
Currently, the industry has been given the financial backing of federal funds to develop the wind plants and operations. The wind industry has garner a strong campaign for this continued support as the industry grows.