Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wind Can Supply 20% Of US Energy Needs, Study Finds

I was on several recent road trips the last year across the Great Plains, and the growth in the number of wind farms and turbines visible just from the interstate highways from the Dakotas and Minnesota south into Iowa and Nebraska is astonishing.

A new study confirms my anecdotal observations: energy production from wind is happening, and can expand to meet perhaps 20% of the nation's energy needs, but with substantial infrastructure required.

To which I say, "great."

Let's keep it going, or get started.

When I see wind turbines, I see jobs, and I see energy security, as the electricity being generated is not produced with petroleum purchases from unstable and unfriendly foreign governments or owners.

And I see much cleaner energy - - fewer cases of asthma, heart disease and other ailments traced to the burning of fossil fuels.

Not to mention hydrocarbons that are not sent skyward to contribute to climate change.

Not every acre of land is suitable for a turbine. I know that. Cities and subdivisions and native plants and grasses in rural areas need protections and mindfulness, obviously.

That said, there is plenty of space where these concerns can and are being respected while building turbines that meet economic and social needs.

As to wind power, full speed ahead.


Anonymous said...

As long as the public is willing to subsidize wind farms you will have windmills. But, the public will tire of that and the subsidies will stop eventually. Then there will be fields of unmaintained windmills, not turning, or grinding away. A better answer is US natural gas and offshore drilling.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not possible. A study a year or two ago, determined that the maximum amount of power from wind and sun could maybe get up to 10. When they hit maximum!
Secondly, only 2 or 3 % of oil is used for electricity production. The only real clean way of getting real percentages, is the use of nuclear.
Most all oil is used for transportation. It is estimated that it will take anywhere from 50 to 100 years to transform our transportation from oil to alternatives. If electricity is the main source then we will need a great deal more sources. Nuclear will be the only alternative.