Wind Energy

Wind Energy is one of the emerging clean energy sources in the US. In the US there are more than 25,000 turbines with 17 gigawatts of capacity that …

Wind Energy is one of the emerging clean energy sources in the US. In the US there are more than 25,000 turbines with 17 gigawatts of capacity that could power 4.5 million homes [1]. Total capacity rose 45% in 2007 and is forecasted to nearly triple by 2012. While representing just 1% of US electricity consumption, some government and industry leaders want to increase this number to 20% by 2030. The total potential for wind energy in the US is 10,777 billion kWh annually, more than twice the amount that the US produces [3].

Environmental Impact
A 750 kilowatt wind turbine produces approximately 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and prevents about 1500 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere [2]. If wind energy increases to 20% of the nation’s energy supply by 2030, it would be the equivalent of taking 140 million cars off the road [4].

Tax Credits
A Production Tax Credit, which would grant a 2 cent tax credit per kilowatt added to the grid from renewable sources has been proposed in congress [4].

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Controversy
Proposed wind farms have met resistance from property owners who oppose wind farm construction near their home.

Sources:
1. “Wind” Business Week, July 7, 2008
2. http://www.awea.org/faq/co2trees.html
3. http://www.awea.org/newsroom/FastFacts2006.pdf
4.
http://www.finance-commerce.com/article.cfm?recID=8523

 

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