New Analysis of the U.S. Wind Workforce

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ENERGY.GOV - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Wind Energy Technologies Office

August 6, 2019

Wind Workforce Development Report Released

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently published a report, The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States: Training, Hiring, and Future Needs, to provide a national assessment of the wind industry workforce and hiring needs and to uncover educational pathways that would help close any gaps.

The report highlights a disparity between students graduating with degrees specific to wind energy who are unable to find a job and industry representatives continuing to have difficulty finding qualified applicants for their entry-level positions. Researchers identified gaps in awareness about wind energy occupations and analyze the skills and further training opportunities that are needed to continue to fill the rising demand for new workers to support the wind industry.

Interviews with the Next Generation of the Wind Energy Workforce

Students from Iowa State University make small adjustments to the blades of their wind turbine before a tunnel test.

Twelve undergraduate teams gathered at NREL in May for the Collegiate Wind Competition 2019 Technical Challenge. Students were challenged to design, build, and test a wind turbine and plan and financially analyze a wind plant, and the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office has just released a video featuring the perspectives of the students.

“The experiences you get in this competition follow you for a lifetime,” said one of the competitors. Find out how this competition prepares undergraduate students for a career in wind energy by providing real-world experience that can be applied to a job in the workforce.

Next Generation of Wind Energy Professionals Inspire

The Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) inspires, and is inspired by, incredible young people like Luis Rafael Miranda Rodríguez—a student who survived both Hurricane Maria and thyroid cancer to participate in CWC. A member of Team Juracán from Universidad Ana G. Méndez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, Rodríguez and his teammates designed their turbine to provide community relief following a natural disaster.

Read more about Team Juracán’s experience in the 2019 competition and watch what 2019 competition participants had to say about their experience overcoming competition challenges.

Recently Updated: Wind R&D Projects Map

map of the united states with WETO projects highlighted in relevant states.

The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) maintains a comprehensive database of funded projects investments. Updated quarterly, the database tracks all of WETO’s financial assistance awards to a variety of businesses, universities, laboratories, and other organizations. In this interactive database and map, you can learn more about the office's research, development, testing, and demonstration portfolio.

In addition to seeing wind R&D projects displayed across all 50 states, users can search or refine the view using filters for research area (e.g. offshore versus grid versus workforce development), award type, or recipient organization type (e.g. industry versus lab versus non-profit). Click here to view the map.


American Wind Week

August 11–17, 2019

American Wind Week is an annual event celebrating American wind power. Connect with the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on Facebook and LinkedIn and follow Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons on Twitter for updates throughout the week.

Pacific Rim Offshore Wind

September 30–October 2, 2019
San Francisco, California

Hosted by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, key players are invited to the first-ever event to focus on Trans-Pacific offshore wind opportunities.


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