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Wind Blows, by David Campbell

Posted by: | May 5, 2014 Comments Off on Wind Blows, by David Campbell |

Wind energy seems too good to be true.  The idea of replacing filthy power plants burning scarce fossil fuels with technology that harnesses electricity from a source as pure and renewable as the wind is calming and captivating.  So much so that many states mandate the procurement of wind power as part of the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS).  The federal government supports wind energy as well, and the Obama administration promotes wind growth as a big part of its “all of the above” energy policy.  But the wind industry would have to grow to over 25 times its 2007 capacity to achieve the federal government’s goal of 20% U.S. power from wind by 2030, according to a report prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.  Such a lofty goal demands a lot of new turbines and power lines, and the country has responded with record growth in wind power over the past few years.  According to recent projections, though, we are still years away from achieving even 5% of electricity consumption from wind.  Nevertheless, the U.S. trend of investing heavily in wind is undeniable and continues today.

Despite such strong government support, an entire anti-wind movement has emerged full of activists spouting hundreds of claims that the cool and refreshing breath of fresh wind energy is illusory.  This movement is not confined to the U.S., either—one article notes 700 anti-wind groups in 28 countries.  Activists allege that wind energy is unreasonably expensive, ineffective at reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs), and an unreliable and inefficient source of electricity generation.  Furthermore, there is evidence that wind turbines cause harm to people, animals, the environment, and the planet.  In other words, many believe that wind energy is economically, practically, and environmentally unsustainable.   

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under: Business, Climate Change, Energy, International
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