During his discussion about wind energy, President Trump said, “It’s very intermittent. It’s got a lot of problems.” Alternatively, former Vice President Biden addressed the renewable energy industry, explaining that his clean energy plan will “create millions of jobs and clean the environment.”
The short answer: Wind turbines in Texas do rely on the wind to blow. However, Texas wind farms are built in locations where they can easily capture wind every day. Also, while turbine blades do not have very long lifespans, the turbines themselves will last between 20-25 years and do not break often.
Wind energy is actually a very reliable form of power and is already a major energy source in the U.S. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that by next year renewable power sources such as wind and solar will supply more electricity across the country than nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
Further, the EIA estimates renewables could generate more electricity than natural gas by 2045.
Texas wind farms produced 32.3 percent of the country’s wind electricity in July of this year – almost four times as much as the second-largest wind producer, Oklahoma. And the total percentage of U.S. electricity generated by renewables is growing. Currently, renewable energy makes up 12 percent of the country’s total electricity generated, with wind energy producing more electricity than any other type of renewable power source.
Additionally, progress in the wind energy industry has led to an increasing number of jobs. The U.S. wind sector currently employs more than 100,000 workers. And, according to Energy.gov, wind turbine technician is among the fastest-growing American jobs. Estimates predict the wind industry could support more than 600,000 U.S. jobs by 2050.
During the debate, Biden emphasized the growing availability of jobs in the wind industry. While discussing wind energy, he stated, “It’s the fastest growing jobs and they pay good prevailing wages, 45-50 bucks an hour. We can grow and we can be cleaner.”
The main takeaway: Texas wind turbines consistently produce a reliable and substantial amount of electricity in the U.S. As wind technology continues to improve and the cost of wind energy decreases, that percentage will likely increase further.
For more of Choose Energy’s deep dives into the presidential election, see the articles below:
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.