Wind. It's a clean and renewable way to generate power. It's also proving to be a pretty good way to create jobs.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, 2008 broke industry records for job creation. That's because installed wind capacity also set new marks, nearly doubling 2007's growth. This accounts for more than 40% of all the new power-producing capacity added nationally last year. The increase in wind capacity will now power two million additional homes.
The growth also means an explosion in jobs. The wind industry now employs 85,000 people, up 70% last year from the year before. Those jobs vary from turbine manufacturing, to operations and maintenance to construction and installation.
These numbers will be tough to match in 2009, given the financial crisis. But the federal stimulus package will help keep public and private capital flowing to new renewable energy projects, ensuring continued growth for the wind industry.