The rapidly growing U.S. wind industry could create new manufacturing opportunities and restore jobs lost in the recent economic downturn, according to a new report by researchers at Duke University's Center for Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.
The report, ‘Wind Power: Generating Electricity and Employment,’ reveals hidden economic opportunities that exist within the supply chain that provides parts and labor for the wind power industry.
‘American companies have a presence in each sector of the value chain,’ says Gary Gereffi, a Duke professor of sociology and one of the report's authors. ‘Increased adoption of wind power technologies could have significant positive economic implications for the United States.’
The wind power value chain incorporates six key stages: materials, components, manufacturing, logistics, operations and end use. Many of the needed manufacturing capabilities could be transferred from industries such as the automotive sector and aerospace, the report says.
‘Every time a wind power project is installed, it creates jobs – not only in the manufacturing sector, but also for structural engineers, surveyors, mechanics, sheet-metal workers, machinists, truck drivers, construction equipment operators and wind turbine operators,’ says Gary Gereffi, a Duke professor of sociology and one of the report's authors.
The findings build on research that Gereffi's group conducted last year linking low-carbon technologies and U.S. jobs.
SOURCE: Duke University