In a recent heartfelt editorial, Leon Bibb, a news anchor for newsnet5 in Cleveland, Ohio, wrote about visiting an abandoned factory where his uncle once worked and “sitting on the front porch of our Cleveland home, watching the men, carrying their lunch boxes, come home from a day’s labor.” Bibb then asks, “So where are the new jobs?”
Bibb mentions a few industries that could help Cleveland in the future, but he overlooks an important sector that could bring manufacturing back and create jobs in Ohio: developing wind energy projects and manufacturing components for wind turbines. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory forecast the cumulative economic benefits from 1,000 MW of wind development in Ohio to be $1.3 billion.* They stated that the projected benefits for Ohio could be greatly increased by developing a local wind supply, installation, and maintenance industry within the state.
Ohio currently has only 67 megawatts of wind energy installed in the state. Compare that to neighbors Indiana (1,339 megawatts), Pennsylvania (751 megawatts), and West Virginia (431 megawatts).** Ohio’s neighbors are taking advantage of the economic benefits that wind energy offers.
Recent testimony in the Ohio House regarding renewable energy included mention of Ohio’s manufacturing history and skilled workforce. Ohio has the necessary elements to seize this opportunity for its citizens and bring Cleveland’s factories and workforce back to life.
**Source: Wind Powering America.
By: Work in the Wind Industry