Study: State needs more wind-power manufacturing
CHAMPAIGN – While wind-power generation has created more than 19,000 short-term construction jobs in Illinois, the state has only about 800 permanent jobs at wind farms and is mostly missing out on potentially far more permanent jobs on the manufacturing side, according to a study released Tuesday.
The study from Illinois State University economist David Loomis highlights the economic benefits of wind power such as the construction jobs and property taxes in rural counties where turbine farms are built. But it also highlights one of the limits: It doesn’t take very many people to maintain a wind farm once it’s up and running.
So far Illinois only has a little more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs related to wind power, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That piece of the industry employs about 30,000 people around the country.
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