CQ

Is wind energy good for the environment?

Researcher
Published by CQ Press, a Division of SAGE

www.cqresearcher.com

Wind Power

W
fossil fuel use.

ind has emerged as the nation’s fastest-growing energy source, with thousands of towering turbines dotting the countryside from California to New England. Generating capacity has

risen as much as 50 percent annually, encouraged by tax incentives

and state laws mandating growth in renewable energy. Already, wind provides about 2 percent of electricity nationwide, and the Department of Energy says a 20 percent share by 2030 is possible with improvements in turbine technology, large-scale investment and better planning of the electrical grid. But opponents argue that wind turbines kill tens of thousands of birds and bats each year, mar pristine scenery and require far more land than traditional methods of power generation. The battle over wind is playing out in states such as Wisconsin, where the proximity of turbines to homes is an issue, and Vermont, where environmentalists are divided over two goals: protecting scenic vistas and reducing
A small, 18-turbine wind farm in Velva, N.D., population 1,000, generates 12 megawatts, or enough electricity for 6,000 homes.

I N S I D E

THIS REPORT
THE ISSUES ....................291 CHRONOLOGY ................299 BACKGROUND ................301 CURRENT SITUATION ........304 AT ISSUE........................305 OUTLOOK ......................308 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................310 THE NEXT STEP ..............311

CQ Researcher • April 1, 2011 • www.cqresearcher.com Volume 21, Number 13 • Pages 289-312
RECIPIENT OF SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE N AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION SILVER GAVEL AWARD

WIND POWER
THE ISSUES SIDEBARS AND GRAPHICS

CQ Researcher
April 1, 2011 Volume 21, Number 13

291

• Can the United States derive a significant amount of its energy from wind? • Is wind energy good for the environment? • Should the U.S. government do more to support wind energy?

292 293 295 299 300 301 305

Thirty-Eight States Generate Wind Energy Texas generated one-fourth of the nation’s 40,000 megawatts. How Wind Turbines Work Spinning blades convert wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical power. Vermont Wind Farms Pit Greens Against Greens Does providing renewable energy lead to environmental damage? Chronology Key events since 5,500 B.C. With Wind Turbines, Taller Is Better Some turbines are 400 feet tall, with blades half as long as a football field. Wind-Power Additions Drop in 2010 Decline in new installations ran counter to previous trend. At Issue Should government do more to support wind power?

MANAGING EDITOR: Thomas J. Billitteri

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ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR: Kathy Koch

kkoch@cqpress.com

BACKGROUND

301 301 302

Sails and Windmills Humans have been putting the wind to use for at least 7,500 years. Harnessing Electricity An Ohio inventor built the first large windmill for electricity in the U.S. in 1887. Growth in Europe Europe took an early lead in wind-farm development.

tcolin@cqpress.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Kenneth Jost STAFF WRITERS: Marcia Clemmitt, Peter Katel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Sarah Glazer, Alan Greenblatt, Barbara Mantel, Tom Price, Jennifer Weeks DESIGN/PRODUCTION EDITOR: Olu B. Davis ASSISTANT EDITOR: Darrell Dela Rosa FACT CHECKER: Michelle Harris

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Thomas J. Colin

A Division of SAGE

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER:

CURRENT SITUATION

John A. Jenkins Todd Baldwin

DIRECTOR, REFERENCE SOLUTIONS:

304 307

White House Support President Obama wants 80 percent of U.S. energy from clean sources by 2035. Not in My Backyard Residents in Wisconsin and other states oppose wind farms near homes, scenic areas.

FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

309 310 311 311

For More Information Organizations to contact. Bibliography Selected sources used. The Next Step Additional articles. Citing CQ Researcher Sample bibliography formats.

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OUTLOOK

308

‘Delicate Circumstances’ Passage of clean-energy standards is seen as unlikely.

Cover: AFP/Getty Images/Karen Bleier

290

CQ Researcher

Supporters say clean energy and government and $3. who cess stories such as Rock Port as ex. the generating not only electricity ergy as four times the nation’s 130-turbine project would be the nation’s first offshore but also money: higher real electricity needs. a natural-resource engi.com April 1. impacts of traditional energy sources gas released by burning of fossil fuels Until engineers develop a cost-effective have mounted.way to store excess power from wind recent years as the fastest-growing en. when a and it’s as simple as getting a cup of centage of power derived from wind.” 1 Wind-energy advocates point to suc. for a talk by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Feb. wind has emerged in that is blamed for contributing to cli. Four massive threeergy. Much of the nation’s hundreds of jobs would be generated. part of our energy future. Rock Port. massive wind farms. which means that netwho lease their land for the towers. wind now tently. utilities will need to build L THE ISSUES AP Photo/Julia Cumes www.300. wind town is on the leading edge seems like a perfect fit for the of what could be America’s nation. erful gusts that blow across On a spring day in 2008.ter cold snap last Christmas. which is in generating capacity by as much as works of transmission lines would be something that we have up here.” says Lena Hansen.tax breaks and renewable-energy manAnd because wind blows intermitneer at the University of Missouri Ex. “It boarded-up businesses and really can be quite a substantial an exodus of young people.000 to midable. were forced to satisfy much of its energy needs. it often fails to generate power tension in Columbia. may be Cape Cod draws opponents and supporters to Woods plus nearby wind farms.” said 50 percent annually. Opponents say it would harm wildlife and estate tax revenue for local But the obstacles are forscenic views. West Coast Rock Port became the nation’s and other regions have led to first community to get just the United States being dubbed about all its power from the “the Saudi Arabia of wind enwind. 4 wind farm. Jim Crawford. And those turbines. Boosted in part by needed to deliver energy to consumers. has based Rocky Mountain Instifaced its share of economic tute. where depower for sale to other jurisvelopers are beginning to plan A massive wind farm planned in Nantucket Sound off dictions. the wind al land within the city limits that blows across the contiprovide an estimated 16 milnental United States could suplion kilowatt-hours of electricity ply as much as 16 times the each year — enough to meet nation’s electricity needs.000 per year for ranchers wind blows far from major popergy source in the nation.population 1. $5. hope eventually to derive 30 percent amples of how the nation can tap wind Many analysts view wind power as a of their power from wind. 2010. “The payback on provides about 2 percent of electricity when consumers need it most. Mass. Mo.000 Wind far exceeds every other wind turbines becalmed just as power coffee and watching the blades spin. a that emit large amounts of pollutants. “We’re farming the wind. increasing ulation centers.renewable-energy source in amount of demands swelled.Wind Power BY DAVID HOSANSKY “We’re seeing an exponential growth in wind energy.. an exike much of the rural pert on renewable energy and Midwest. turbines. are able to generate as much enHole. 2 key component of any strategy to re. at least in theory. This a per-acre basis is generally quite good nationwide and more than 15 percent in was vividly demonstrated during a bitwhen compared to a lot of other crops. 3 lack of wind left most of Britain’s 3. 2011 291 . Colo. Approved by Salazar that April.to ramp up coal-fired power stations As concerns about the environmental duce emissions of carbon dioxide. The British.” Some studies indicate bladed turbines on agriculturthat.electricity generated except hydropower. biofuels at the Boulder.mate change. the Great Plains. Iowa. which promotes the susstruggles: falling incomes. which leads the nation in the per. tainable use of resources. Offthe town’s needs and provide shore areas alone.” And yet the quiet farming In some respects.cqresearcher. 2.dates in a number of states. The steady and pownext energy revolution..

director of state and regulatory affairs at the Institute for Energy Research. Ark.001-10. “Taxpayers get a double whammy in terms of subsidies: They have to pay for the subsidy and then they pay for higher rates as a result of having the renewables as part of the electricity system. have raised concerns.awea. Colo. Iowa Ill. China became the largest provider of wind 292 CQ Researcher . wind has faced something of a boom-and-bust cycle. gas and coal industries and possibly lead to higher costs for taxpayers.000 conventional power plants to meet demand when winds fail. January 2011. Idaho Nev. Alaska Hawaii Electricity in Megawatts Fla.C. S. although new radar technology can help alleviate the problem.001-2.Va. N. Ala. La.000 101-1. Va. Vt. Wyo. Only 12 states — mostly in the Southeast — lack wind-power capacity. with development of new wind farms dropping by 70 to 90 percent in years when Congress has allowed federal tax credits for turbines to expire. None 1-100 Source: “U. Wind Industry Year-End 2010 Market Report.” Without sustained government support. Lawmakers have clashed over such issues as tax breaks for the wind industry and limits on how close turbines can be to houses. at least for the moment. N. Sometimes they are built on ridges where winds are optimal — and where they can be seen for miles. to the chagrin of people who enjoy unspoiled vistas. often with a trio of blades each half the length of a football field and designed to capture as much wind as possible. China is also revving up its windenergy capabilities. Denmark now derives 24 percent of its electricity from wind.) Debates over wind energy have roiled policy makers on the national and state levels.H. R. and they’re still not cost-effective. Despite its phenomenal growth in recent years. The revolving blades act as large reflectors that can interfere with radars by appearing as false targets or as clutter that obscures real targets — a significant concern for the military.” 10. Rock Port draws energy from the regional power grid on non-windy days and sends excess energy to the grid when the winds return. (See sidebar. Miss.000+ American Wind Energy Association. including wind. “People want to use electricity when they need it and not just when the wind blows. Ga. a fourth of it in Texas. a group in Washington that supports free-market energy solutions. S. Ind. N. hundreds or even thousands in wind farms. Tenn. N. Pa. 245. The towers are arrayed by the dozens. many consumers are raising alarms over higher electricity rates and what they regard as a blight of turbines across the landscape. Wind Power by State. Ariz. Many in Congress worry. Minn. that such a requirement would hurt the oil. which is plentiful and. by 2035. They cite the potential impact of wind farms on otherwise undisturbed areas and the deaths of birds and bats that fly into turbine blades or are affected by shifts in air pressure caused by the blades. Calif. affordable. The European Union is adding more electricity capacity from wind than any other source. Conn. org/learnabout/publications/loader. W. President Barack Obama is pressing for legislation requiring that 80 percent of the nation’s energy come from lowor non-polluting sources. Oregon and Washington state. and several governments are setting goals of deriving a third or more of their electricity from wind and other renewable sources within a few decades. It aims to get 15 percent of its energy from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2020. D.J. Utah Mont. wind developers construct towers that can exceed 400 feet in height. Neb.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=5083 2.I. “We’ve been subsidizing wind and other renewables for 30 years. Ore. p. Maine Mass. Mo. the wind industry may not be able to continue competing with natural gas.D. The turbines often fray the nerves of nearby residents bothered by their noise and flickering shadows. Texas N. Even environmentalists. Mich.000 megawatts in 2010.000 1. www.C. Ohio Ky. Md. In contrast. Kan. Del.Y. Still.” says Daniel Simmons. Wis. Thanks to significant financing incentives and sustained government support for renewable energy.” says Simmons. while favoring a pollution-free energy source. wind development overseas is proceeding at a breezy pace. Generating capacity is also high along the coasts of California. To harvest large amounts of energy.D. however.C.M. Okla. Through 2010 Wash.WIND POWER Thirty-Eight States Generate Wind Energy Wind power in the United States exceeded 40.S. N. 5 Last year.

However.html www. Controller: Starts up the machine at wind speeds of about 8 to 16 mph and shuts off the machine at about 55 mph. Low-speed shaft: The rotor turns the low-speed shaft at about 30 to 60 rotations per minute. Brake: A disc brake that can stop the rotor in emergencies. Nacelle: Contains the gear box.. The United States. Source: Department of Energy. Wind Turbine Diagram and Parts Anemometer: Measures wind speed and transmits the data to the controller. who say that Washington’s failure to better support the wind industry is making it difficult for them to compete with overseas turbine producers.000 to 1. 6 The rapid pace of wind-industry development abroad troubles U. Yaw motor: Powers the yaw drive. Wind vane: Measures wind direction and works with the yaw drive to orient the turbine to the wind. here are some key questions being debated: Can the United States derive a significant amount of its energy from wind? Those who believe wind may emerge as a top source of electricity in the United States point to a 2008 Department of Energy (DOE) report that laid out a road map for obtaining 20 percent of the nation’s energy — or 300 gigawatts — from wind by 2030. with about 40.cqresearcher. High-speed shaft: Drives the generator. controller and brake.” says Bob Gates. How Wind Turbines Work Turbines convert kinetic energy generated by the wind’s motion into mechanical power. at a disadvantage in competing in the global marketplace. with 41. those expenses would largely be offset by reduced costs for coal. Calif.S. which spin a shaft that connects to a generator to create electricity. Rotor: The blades and hub together are called the rotor. fell to second.com April 1. The wind turns the blades. it’s helping to export jobs.000 megawatts. the report estimated.eere. Pitch: Blades are turned. low. Tower: Made from tubular steel. Reaching the goal by 2030 would cost nearly $200 billion for turbines. “In the long term. The report found that the goal “could be feasible” but would require improvements in turbine technology. or pitched. the speed required by most generators to produce electricity. “It has put the U.S.800 megawatts of electricity capacity. large-scale investments and better planning so that far-flung regions could support one another as electricity supply and demand spiked and dipped across the grid. concrete or steel lattice.” As policy makers consider whether to provide more support for wind power.and high-speed shafts. out of the wind to control rotor speed. www1.800. natural gas and other fuel. chief commercial officer of Clipper Windpower Inc. 2011 293 .gov/windandhydro/wind_how. a turbine maker in Carpinteria. Yaw drive: Keeps the rotor on upwind turbines facing into the wind as wind direction changes.energy in the world. improved transmission capability and other infrastructure. The report also noted that wind energy could provide such benefits as increased diversity of the nation’s fuel sources and reductions in coal and natural-gas emissions associated with climate change and air pollution. generator.energy. turbine manufacturers. Generator: Produces 60-cycle AC electricity. Gear box: Gears connect the low-speed shaft to the high-speed shaft and increase speeds from between 30 and 60 rotations per minute to 1.

Wind farms are proliferating in regions such as West Texas and the Dakotas. and they’re not. 296 294 CQ Researcher . its winds tend to fade during August. Peak demand for electricity generally occurs on very hot or very cold days. national commitment to clean. intended to produce Continued on p. The mismatch between winds and consumer demand was illustrated on an unusually hot August afternoon in 2010.000 miles of transmission lines at a cost of about $20 billion. director of the National Wind Technology Center at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. when consumers are switching on air conditioners or furnaces. . “It’s a willpower issue more than it is a cost issue. In contrast. by switching between wind turbines during unsettled weather patterns and solar panels on hot days. Achieving the 20 percent wind scenario would involve a major.WIND POWER “There are significant costs. But strong winds often blow at night. . Other analysts put the pricetag higher. Eighty-nine percent of respondents to a poll commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association. but utilities need to move that energy to cities where it is needed. avoiding sensitive areas or possibly tapping energy from offshore wind farms built near major cities. in five years. renewables are going to be economical. . “If you get around the 20 percent mark or more. 8 The other fundamental challenge is that the strongest winds tend to blow in sparsely populated areas. they have to either build extra power plants to back up their turbines or buy electricity at a premium on the “spot” market. 9 Ratepayers would likely bear the expense. and only about 5 percent of energy from its wind farms was available when consumers needed it most.000 wind turbines in the Altamont Pass in central California. Both options can be costly. 10 The issue has come to the fore from quiet Maine islands to the Texas Hill Country.” says Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research. domestic energy sources. a professor of mechanical engineering and inaugural director of the Clean Energy Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.” The intermittency also means that wind turbines are comparatively inefficient.” 7 But some experts doubt that wind can grow from 2 percent to 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply in less than two decades.” concluded the report.” says Robert Michaels.” Is wind energy good for the environment? The approximately 5. said they favored wind power. The only way to do that is to build large networks of transmission lines. The 2008 DOE report estimated that to achieve the 20 percent wind-energy goal. If there were not renewable-energy standards and the tax breaks. a landowner in Texas’ Gillespie County who is battling plans to build turbines on prominent ridges and create a long-distance transmission network that would affect private properties. To manage the intermittency of wind.” says Fort Felker. Because utilities lack efficient systems to store surplus wind energy and distribute it when demand peaks. utilities could rely on a mix of complementary energy sources — for example. but it also isn’t dispatchable. utilities could reduce the impact by working closely with local communities. Even though the state leads the nation in windturbine capacity. While new transmission lines will inevitably be controversial and costly. “You could get up to 10 to 20 percent without too much stress on the system. They typically generate electricity at only about 25 to 40 percent of their capacity because their blades are often still. Colo. experts say that the goal of 20 percent wind energy — or even more — is achievable if national leaders establish it as a priority. Despite these challenges. “Is it really worth permanently industrializing and destroying a unique scenic area like the Hill Country?” asks Robert Weatherford. Polls show strong public support for wind energy — at least in theory. while backing them up with gas-fired plants that can quickly ramp up and down.” says Robert Evans. a traditional coal plant operates at about 70 percent capacity. “The wind is free. you’ll start to see real strains. “You can’t just say you’re going to produce wind tomorrow at 3 p. an industry trade group. The nation faces at least one more fundamental challenge in harnessing wind: local opposition. Perhaps the single biggest challenge of wind energy is that winds often die down just as they are needed most. Experts say surpassing the 20 percent goal may be unrealistic without advances in technology because the challenges of intermittency and power transmission become increasingly difficult as more wind power is introduced into the grid. when Texas broke its record for energy consumption. when demand is relatively low.m. a professor of economics at California State University at Fullerton and a consultant on wind issues. “There are also substantial positive impacts. the United States would need to build 12. there would be very little development of wind. “We keep hearing that. the United States faces two fundamental obstacles: Wind often fails to blow when it is needed and where it is needed. But numerous communities are battling plans for local wind farms or networks of transmission lines. and gusts rarely coincide with prolonged hot and cold spells. “There’s been an incredible amount of money thrown at renewables and renewable-technology development. and things haven’t changed much.” Indeed. And five years pass. challenges and impacts associated with the 20 percent wind scenario.

Energize Vermont For example.com/gwire/2010/09/23/23greenwire-renewable-electricity-standardeasements and return the land to its natural state once the farm bill-stands-alo-16736. aligned himself energy developments. Getty Images/Jake Wyman O www.” he says. The situation has created mountain regions. When we consume energy. R-Kansas.” The New York Times. Senate Sponsors Vow. As an alsome unusual political alliances. Sept. inwith liberal Democrats in supcluding solar panels and hyporting a national renewabledropower from existing dams. placed. bats.org/node/409. If properly Midwest or in the West is a very Wind turbines and clouds sit atop a hill in Vermont.vpirg.” when it comes to turning on our lights or running our refrig— David Hosansky erators. “Renewable Electricity Standard to Vermont point to agreements under which wind farms have Alone or Dies. 2 Katie Howe and Katherine Ling. and you’re actually destroying part of the environment. they contend. green battle in mentalists. Conservationists in the Green Mountain the courts over whether the turbine blades could endanger State have split over the prospect of building turbines on ridges.” Snelling says the wide roads and massive amounts of concrete states such as Texas. environmentalists who support bringing turbines Interest Research Group. of reliable wind without sigmont is a unique microcosm nificant effects on the environment. energy standard last year. long-established enwon’t endanger sensitive wildlife vironmental groups such as habitats. providing a critical alternative where the desire to build renewable energy in the country is to fossil-fuel plants that emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants. “Verplans to erect more hilltop turbines. known as Cape Wind. It’s just such a weird Public Interest Research Group declared: “There is no free lunch catch-22 that I can’t support it.cqresearcher. Sam Brownbacks small-scale. and scenic views against others who believe that turbines are has faced stiff resistance from prominent environmentalists. ternative. a nonprofit advocacy dinarily associated with environmental causes have frequently group that promotes sustainable energy.communities.com April 1. the Vermont that we destroy part of the environment. Midwestern ranchers who are not orelevation ridges that have important habitat.” Vermont Public parison to those of fossil fuels and nuclear power.Salazar approved the project last year. including Robert Kennedy Jr.a West Virginia wind farm sparked a green vs. Feb. and the impacts of wind power pale in com1 “Kingdom community wind comment period now closed. “You want to save the environment by building renewable en. are a better fit for Vermont’s Snelling doesn’t object to wind small-town nature than largeenergy — as long as the turscale wind turbines. said they will protect hundreds of acres through conservation www. favor building turbines in se“Building wind farms in the lected locations. communityback. wildlife and the landscape. In a statement urging its members to support the proposed “It’s as though the need to combat climate change necessitates installation of a wind farm of about 20 turbines. has been decommissioned.Bill Stands 23.html. 2011 295 . 2011.” says Lukas Snelling. we produce an environmental impact.. But he has deep reserthe Vermont Natural Resources vations about plans for about 10 Council and the Vermont wind farms in his state’s picPublic Interest Research Group turesque Green Mountains. bines are put in such spots as On the other side of the Midwestern croplands where they debate. 18. A proposal to expand pposition to new wind farms in ecologically minded Vermont has come from an unusual source: environ. Interior Secretary Ken ergy. director of communications for Energize Vermont. who worry about effects on local necessary to move the state toward renewable energy. On the other hand. it contends.” 1 Moreover. 2 Such projects. “So if you build wind farms. embraced wind farms. www. the turdifferent thing than building Local conservationists are divided over bines could take advantage them in Vermont. 2010.nytimes. but in Vermont the only viable places for turbines are high. Sen. Iowa and Kansas are emerging as leadneeded to install turbines would essentially industrialize sensitive ing producers of wind energy. And plans to build a massive offshore wind farm in a pitting those who worry about destruction of wildlife habitat wildlife-rich section of Nantucket Sound. hitting right up against the desire to protect natural resources.Vermont Wind Farms Pit Greens Against Greens Does providing renewable energy lead to environmental damage? The situation in Vermont is not unique. Turbines are injecting money and jobs into economically depressed rural sections of the Plains.

2010 Canada (690 Mw) Sweden (603 Mw) Rest of World (4. “We should not be creating new ecological crises by addressing existing ones.9% 1. It also warned that little is known about the potential impact of offshore wind farms on marine life. 14 Wildlife issues aside.” Global Wind Energy Council. 294 clean energy.500 Mw) 46.516 Mw) 3.WIND POWER China Leads in New Wind Installations China installed more than 16. and environmentalists generally cheer the emergence of an energy source that does not emit carbon dioxide or other pollutants.000 bats in one year. The Altamont Pass turbines were installed after the 1970s energy crisis. www. “For all the reasons that birds and bats die. China recently overtook the United States in cumulative wind-energy capacity. could result in turbines covering an area the size of Texas or larger.7% (1.3% China 2. a 2005 report by the General Accounting Office. with 14 percent of the global total. 296 CQ Researcher . along migration corridors. known as energy sprawl. and their tiny lungs hemorrhage when they enter low-pressure zones created by the moving blades. the congressional watchdog agency now known as the Government Accountability Office.” 12 Wind-energy advocates. a wind farm may have killed as many as 2. Wind farms that are some distance from critical migratory paths or major populations of birds and bats do not have such deadly effects.6% United Kingdom (962 Mw) 1.000 megawatts of wind-power capacity in 2010 — nearly half the global total and far more than any other country. estimates that wind power requires 45 times more land than nuclear power and several times more land than coal and natural gas plants. an energy writer who has questioned the environmental benefits of renewable energy.” Still.2% 6. The United States was a distant second. contend that careful placement of wind farms. when such issues were not well known. “Renewable energy is not necessarily green energy. if the United States continues to increase its use of wind.” said Eric R. by Country. concluded that more research is needed on how wind farms affect birds and bats.7% 13. attacks by domestic and feral cats and collisions with windows.” says the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Hansen.1% Spain 14.gwec. 13 “The concerns about birds and bats around wind turbines were rooted in early turbines that were poorly sited. 11 Scientists believe turbines can be deadly to bats for two reasons: The nocturnal animals fly into turbine blades for reasons that are not clear. including rare raptors such as golden eagles and burrowing owls. allowing their blades to reach almost to the ground and kill raptors as they dive for prey.139 Mw) Source: “Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2010.net/fileadmin/documents/Publications/Global_ Wind_2007_report/GWEC Global Wind Report 2010 low res. Glitzenstein. Robert Bryce. but they also have potential risks. however.pdf Continued from p. away from migratory-bird routes and other sensitive areas. have an environmental downside. All energy sources have potential benefits.3% (5. Nevertheless. Supporters of wind energy also point out that far greater numbers of bird deaths — millions to tens of millions yearly — occur because of pesticides. New Wind Energy Installed. according to Fish and Wildlife Service estimates.115 Mw) United States (2. March 2011.493 Mw) (1.750 Mw) (948 Mw) Italy 2.0% India (16. is significantly reducing the impact on wildlife.0% 4.2% 4. with potential damage to sensitive ecosystems.086 Mw) France Germany (1. critics point out that wind farms require far more land per kilowatt generated than traditional forms of electricity generation. The towers also are far shorter than modern turbines. The blades have killed thousands of birds. Wind-farm power lines have electrocuted others. a lawyer involved in efforts to stop expansion of a West Virginia wind farm to protect the endangered Indiana bat. turbines are pretty low on the list. 15 Experts say this phenomenon. In West Virginia. some are watching the spread of wind farms with concern.

” says the University perts dismiss such arguments as mis. advoCritics also quescates believe Texas’ zest tion whether wind for wind power sets an farms reduce air example for the rest of pollution from trathe nation. additional plants to office of Public Citizen.energy standard would strengthen the fectiveness of the environmental-control bustion of coal. but it will offset most than 10. “Adding wind significantly reduces 2010. C y c l i n g group. that was prepared for have a choice between looking at A renewable-energy standard the Independent Petroleum Association wind turbines and looking at smog. says trade group. And as we sy. Wind-energy supporters. however.al climate. Last year. Still. “When I gy sources.more to support wind energy? of British Columbia’s Evans. senior vice president AFP/Getty Images/Peter Parks www.later set an even more ambitious goal: is overblown.” demands. Hubei province on Sept.000 megawatts of capacity from Scientists. In 1999 the tively little space and that land around fired plants can with comparatively state required utilities to generate each tower remains available for farm. 2.” said Tom Smith.000 megawatts by 2025.S. you need far reliable to meet peak less land. Texas installed more analysis at the Union of Concerned fossil fuels. an oil-industry I’d rather look at wind turbines. utilities growth.000 new megawatts of power from ing.set the emissions associated with a 10. renewable-energy or a broader cleanate less efficiently and reduces the ef. sistant director of energy research and kilowatt-hour produced by burning As a result. Residents make improvehave sued to block ments in technoloplans for transmission gies. 16 Hansen says.renewable energy within a decade and issue of the footprint of wind farms duced by wind will not entirely off. states that have adopted renewablemuch as driving a car at different She and other renewable-energy energy standards.far exceeds the drawbacks of wind. While older coal-fired Texas may be known for oil fields. supply back-up a consumer-advocacy p o w e r. China became the world’s largest provider of wind energy.of it. China plans to generate 15 percent often have to build director of the Texas of its energy from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2020.” sumers from fuel-price volatility. 2010. substantially increasing fossil fuels can affect water and air duce emissions from coal and naturemissions. leading.The extraction.off.brace renewable energy. harm caused by burning fossil fuels ers to follow suit.Should the U.” stated a 2010 report by quality.“People don’t want to see coast-toBut Evans and other energy ex.cqresearcher. Hansen says. government do coast windmills. as. they argue. and bines get larger and utilities warn that wind there are fewer of energy is often too unthem. they argue. Rob Gramlich. Because incredibly effective at wind may not blow stimulating new techwhen electricity is nologies and economic Wind-turbine blades await delivery at a factory in China’s northern needed. 2011 297 . natural gas or other economy by creating green jobs. ranching or other purposes.al gas and ensure a balance of enerBentek Energy. as wind turlines across the state. They say a national “Cycling causes coal units to oper. plants cannot easily cycle on and but its legislature was quick to emsay that the turbines take up rela. 17 such plants up and down is costly running fossil-fuel plants a lot less.” Texas is one of more than two dozen and can emit excessive pollution. would save money and shield conof Mountain States.little impact on emissions. reequipment. overtaking the United States. newer and more efficient gas. wind and other renewable sources by motes environmental protection. mation company.” says Jeff Deyette. and wind-energy speeds can burn more fuel than advocates also say the environmental supporters want federal policy makdriving at a constant speed. some 15 years ahead of sched“There are a lot of other uses for the our carbon emissions because you’re ule. though. a research group that pro. ditional power The state’s goals “are plants. transport and com. “The A kilowatt-hour of electricity pro. an energy-market infor. 30. they say. The move toward wind has not land on wind been without controverfarms.com April 1. wildlife habitats and glob.

the debate over its own. espebetter to tackle that cially because states problem directly inhave widely differing stead of artificially Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visits the American Wind Energy amounts of wind and propping up the wind Association’s annual wind-power convention in Chicago in May 2009. Critics world . partly behas vast stores of coal cause of outdated and natural gas that can transmission sysmeet the nation’s electems and a need for tricity needs for decades more renewable-enor even centuries to ergy facilities. as well as ment should not favor one energy unpredictable occurrence they say has maintain our technological lead in the source over another.” says California State University’s pelling reason to promote renewable netic energy from wind and other Michaels. sources that is released Critics also point to the electrical grid out that California when needed. other potential industry. he adds. until the wind industry can stand on hold in the market. It amounts to 2.view to have government subsidies new energy technology to get a toe.fairly benefits the wind industry. . especially carbon dioxide that U. If the goal is to eral standard may reduce carbon dioxide be even more diffiemissions. Wind en.few years — an irregular and often of energy independence.which makes flywheels for storing kiup. say the govern.” p. natural gas companies have bines and geothermal plants. Oil kilowatt-hour for the production of nuclear power. windOther policies that benefit wind are globally in that sector. A fedcome. and still Wind advocates say it is crucial for consumption tax instead of tax credits they’re not meeting their standards. Mass.public support after last month’s release ductions. (See sideand some other states bar. Wind is less ex. it would be cult to meet. “As a problem with the federal mandate is emissions.” says Gene Hunt.. They also money on something that doesn’t solve policy. 7. 300 Getty Images/Scott Olson 298 CQ Researcher . In many respects. lem in the most cost“These policies mandate more ex. 2011. Simmons.energy supporters say they need fedalso proving controversial. however. 303. arguing that can stunted the industry’s growth. maintain renewable-energy that the United States goals. and whether the government effective way. however.WIND POWER for public policy at the American ergy advocates want a permanent “If we want to move beyond peWind Energy Association. a propensive forms of electricity generation.1 cents per biofuels..S. they say. 305. particularly pensive than other sources of renew.of radiation from reactors in Japan. The the United States to reduce fossil-fuel for the wind industry.energy.” should support wind to counterbalance fessor of electrical and computer says the Institute for Energy Research’s policies that help other energy sources. taxpayer. such as solar power and compete on equal terms with protax credit. Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu unveiled a plan on sources of renewable “We need to address Feb. such as sunthe carbon dioxide proboffshore wind energy in the United States. It also appears to be safer than ducers of conventional energy.” says Ross Baldick. . engineering at the University of Texas. which I believe will be even say the nation needs a stronger re.” newable-energy industry to compete As for government help. shine for solar power.eral assistance if the industry is to the federal renewable-energy-production able energy. credit rather than one that expires every troleum energy and achieve some sort Critics. in Tyngsboro. . particularly comes down to two basic issues: Power Corp. it does make sense in our drive up rates and make it harder for say the credit costs taxpayers and un. to accelerate the development of energy. I don’t want to spend it could be more of a one-size-fits-all is blamed for climate change. which is likely to lose companies enjoy generous tax deelectricity from large-scale wind tur. Continued on p.the problem.) Critics of are falling behind government intervenschedule to meet tion.) An energy expert who favors a carbontheir laws to their situation.” more difficult to meet. “State legislatures have tailored (See “At Issue. director of “You don’t want to force people to government support of wind energy corporate communications for Beacon use a certain technology. because a better technology may turn Whether the United States has a com. p.

C. Glasgow. despite rapid growth in Europe. coal and nuclear power. 1990s-Present Rising oil prices spark renewed interest in wind energy. 1887-88 Cleveland inventor Charles Brush builds first wind turbine to generate electricity in the United States. 1986 California establishes itself as the global leader in wind energy. 18th and 19th Centuries Steam supplants wind power during Industrial Revolution. 2011 In his State of the Union address. Early 1800s New steam-powered engines begin to replace windmills. 5500-5000 B. setting up a boombust cycle in the wind industry. Persians build windmills to pump water and grind grain Middle Ages (400-1400 A. natural gas. 1700s Windmills are well established as the primary power source in preindustrial Europe. 2010 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announces approval of nation’s first offshore wind farm. 1992 As part of an omnibus energy measure. multi-blade turbines to operate irrigation pumps. www. 2008 Rock Port. 1890s Danish scientist Poul la Cour begins testing wind turbines in effort to bring electricity to rural Denmark. by far the most of any region worldwide. December 2010 Efforts to establish a national renewable energy standard die in Congress despite passage of separate versions in the House and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 1983 Iowa requires utilities to invest in wind and biomass power. builds first windmill for electricity production. • Farmers use wind turbines for power but most of nation relies on nuclear energy and fossil fuels to generate electricity..com April 1.D.1400 A. 2005 United States reestablishes itself as the world leader in wind-energy capacity. 1887 Professor James Blyth of Anderson’s College. 1900-1980s Wind power first harnessed in the Middle East. 1973-1974 Mideast oil embargo sparks widespread fuel shortages and spurs interest in alternative energy. spurring increased interest in alternative energy. Egyptians and Sumerians use wind energy to sail their boats. 2003 Oil prices begin rising sharply and speculation grows that petroleum resources may be running low.cqresearcher.D. overtakes the United States (40 gigawatts) as the world’s wind-energy leader.Chronology 5500 B.C. President Obama sets goal of deriving 80 percent of nation’s power from clean-energy sources by 2035.S. the controversial Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound. 2010 China. 1941 World’s first megawatt turbine begins delivering electricity to a Vermont grid. 1930s-40s Farmers lacking electricity use small. 1980 World’s first wind farm is installed in southern New Hampshire. 1950s-60s United States and other industrialized nations develop national electrical grids. with 1. April 27. Congress passes the production tax credit. community powered by wind energy. becomes first U.) Windmills spread throughout the world to grind grain. Mo. • 1999 Congress allows the production tax credit to expire. 2011 299 . 2000 Europe achieves more than 12 gigawatts of wind-energy capacity. Jan.2 gigawatts of capacity. relying primarily on oil. intended to spur wind-farm development. with nearly 42 gigawatts of wind-energy capacity. 25.D. 500-900 A. pump water and drain land.

where wind blows more strongly. The shaft and coils spin within a circle of magnets. with blades that turn in a vertical plane. Energy increases by the cube of the wind speed. 298 A ited applications. As wind moves through a wind farm. researchers are studying whether other formations. part of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. Nuclear has also benefited. mounted 30 feet high or more to catch stronger winds. You keep that up for 10 or 20 years. which converts the electricity into the necessary voltage. Most turbines rotate on a horizontal shaft. and then into the electrical grid. However. which makes it difficult to capture large amounts of energy in a small space. the front row of turbines extract about half the kinetic energy. director of the National Wind Technology Center. Some analysts say the best policy would be to end all incentives and let 300 CQ Researcher . making it even more important for the government to help emerging technologies gain traction. a wind turbine can convert a maximum of about 60 percent of the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity. but they are of limited practicality because of their size requirements. Because the size of the turbine largely determines the amount of electricity that it can generate. into electricity. turbines have become increasingly large. Engineers are focusing on capturing more energy from the wind by looking at how arrays of turbines are organized. However. “We’ve had decades of incentives that have skewed the market toward natural gas and other fossil fuels. with blades half as long as a football field. Wind companies respond that decades of government support for traditional fuel sources have entrenched those industries. wind turbine is a machine that converts the wind’s kinetic energy. such as triangles or beehive shapes. instead of the simplistic approach where it’s every man for himself. and other low-power vehicles. generating electricity. This enables a second shaft to spin many times faster than the first. Supplying the power needs of an average-size house can require a rotor assembly spanning about 10 to 15 feet. they point out. “I see a renewable electricity standard as helping to level the playing field. there are also vertical-axis wind turbines. In theory. Residential wind turbines exist. turbines need to be spaced far apart. A set of copper-wire coils is attached to the high-speed shaft. which is enough to charge batteries in boats.” says Deyette of the Union of Concerned Scien- tists. at very high wind speeds — typically between 45 and 80 miles per hour — turbines have an automatic shutdown mechanism that prevents the blades from becoming damaged. The rotor generally consists of three blades that face the oncoming wind. small-scale turbines have limContinued from p. The electricity flows through power cables to a transformer. In addition. leaving relatively little energy for downwind turbines to capture — a problem known as wind shade. the tallest turbines generally reach more than 400 feet above the ground. Rather than arranging turbines in straight lines or rectangles. They are also looking into coordinating the movements of turbines to ensure that each turbine captures as much energy as possible. the shaft is attached to a gearbox with a series of interconnected cogs that magnify the spinning motion. Doubling the blade length generates four times as much power. vans.” — David Hosansky eminent-domain power to build pipelines. or movement. Coal and natural gas companies say they are at a disadvantage because they are far more regulated than wind.WIND POWER With Wind Turbines.and other renewable-energy producers. the more power that can be generated. which means there is a limited amount of additional energy that a turbine can produce unless it is built much larger. As a result. the blades turn a shaft that revolves about 20 to 30 times a minute — not enough to produce much power. “The way engineering works is [that] it’s often a succession of 1 percent improvements. Vertical-axis wind turbines generate relatively little power and can become unstable as winds grow stronger. tall turbines with horizontal shafts tend to produce more power because they reach higher in the atmosphere. as is often the case with wind farms. For that reason. Taller Is Better Some turbines are 400 feet tall. “Perhaps there is a coordinated control system that can do better where upwind machines back off a little bit while the downwind ones collect more. and nuclear power plants enjoy partial immunity from lawsuits. In a typical breeze. and you’re looking at real changes. Blades on those machines move in a horizontal plane and can take advantage of wind from different directions. automatically swiveling when the wind direction changes. However.” Whether a renewable energy standard or a permanent production tax credit would put the various energy industries on equal footing is a complicated question to answer. which means that a doubling of wind produces eight times more power. Colo.” explains Fort Felker. The larger the area that is swept by the blades. A turbine with a rotor assembly — a central hub and blades — spanning three feet from tip to tip can generate about one-half a kilowatt per hour. would be more productive. Even a relatively small change in the wind can have a significant effect on the amount of electricity generated. The most efficient turbines are closing in on the 50 percent mark. The largest blades are half the length of a football field or even longer.

S. They were used for grinding grain. This moving air is wind.org/learnabout/publications/loader. 2000-2010 5. On the eve of World War II.awea. windmills of various designs — and with either vertical or horizontal shafts — were built across the Middle East and Central Asia and eventually in India. which causes air to circulate around regions of high and low pressure.000 6. Harnessing Electricity A lthough modern wind turbines began to emerge in the 1970s. — the earliest known effort to use wind for powering a machine. And as Americans plowed the Midwest and Great Plains.S. Made from 144 cedar blades. and they could operate when water might freeze. they have been used to generate electricity since the late 19th century. Soon after. but society still found new uses for wind energy. the world’s first megawatt turbine — a www. cooler air rushes in to fill the space it occupied. and heavier. Wind-Power Growth. Wind’s remarkable power in the atmosphere accounts for the enduring popularity of windmills.com April 1. These early windmills.000 10. Danish meteorologist Poul la Cour found that fast-moving rotors with fewer blades could generate more power.366 5. “It will give us the most robust energy market in the end when you have the various technologies competing on their attributes. time of day and whether the air being warmed is over land or water. Wind Industry Year-End 2010 Market Report.000 megawatts was added in the U. in 2010. it could generate 12 kilowatts for batteries or his mansion’s lights.and low-pressure systems and local topography. such as on islands where wind direction was relatively predictable. season.S.115 67 1. Daily wind movements. which were relatively inexpensive and easy to build. with the strongest breezes tending to occur in mountainous regions. high. Large-scale wind patterns are influenced by the Earth’s rotation. They did not have to be located adjacent to fastmoving streams. a major factor in the expansion of rail systems.000 8. 2011 301 . which can be extraordinarily difficult to predict.” says Simmons.D. Brush built the first large windmill for electricity in the United States in 1887. are determined by such factors as the movement of high. During the Industrial Revolution.385 2.258 10.cfm?cs DigitalStock Module=security/getfile&PageID=5083 western Europe where winds are variable.010 8. It comprised a vertical shaft attached to lightweight wooden blades that had sails made of reeds or cloth. (in megawatts) BACKGROUND Sails and Windmills umans have turned to the wind for power ever since they hoisted the first sails at least 7.000 0 Annual U. developing models with up to eight sails that generated more power than those with four sails and creating windmills that adjusted automatically to different wind speeds. Some windmills were built in a fixed position to take advantage of prevailing winds. www. Others were designed to swivel according to wind direction. a critical requirement in a region such as north- H 12. which first came into use in a region between Iran and Afghanistan. about half the amount in 2009. Within a few centuries. Windmills had several advantages over water-driven mills.670 2.” American Wind Energy Association.000 4. By the 1930s. farmers used an estimated several million small windmills to operate irrigation pumps. The decline in new installations ran counter to the past decade’s upward trend. Air that grows hotter expands and rises.691 412 1. farmers who had no other access to electricity were using small multi-bladed turbines. January 2011. For example.000 2. steam and internal-combustion engines largely supplanted traditional windmills. The ultimate driver of wind is energy from the sun.cqresearcher.462 397 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source: “U. Inventors gradually improved windmill designs. The Greek engineer Heron of Alexandria designed a wind wheel in the first century A.D. China and Europe. threshing. powering sawmills and other purposes. draining land. Ohio inventor Charles F. open land and coastal areas. Persians built a type of windmill known as a panemone sometime between 500 and 900 A. pumping fresh water or saltwater to make salt. windmills pumped water for steam locomotives. were used initially to pump water and later to grind grain.competition work its will. which heats the atmosphere unevenly depending on such factors as latitude. Growth in Wind Power Slow in 2010 Wind-power capacity of more than 5.500 years ago in Egypt and Sumer.

304 302 CQ Researcher . somewhat primitive by today’s standards. Interest in wind energy spurred considerable technological development on both sides of the Atlantic. enacted ambitious renewable-energy policies and took the lead in wind-farm development. were placed by the thousands in wind farms such as those in the Altamont Pass. But the expiration in the mid-1980s of the state’s tax incentives (along with the expiration of a similar federal initiative in 1985) brought new installations to a halt.5 in the United States. including Denmark and Germany. compared with 2. taking advantage of relatively low coal and natural gas prices and newly developed nuclear technology. By 1986. California provided tax incentives for wind power. Turbine use declined in the postwar era as the United States and other countries began building national power grids.500 homes. But in the mid-1970s. On Chicago’s South Side. everal European countries. including Continued on p.S. California had installed nearly 1.2 gigawatts of wind power. plus water for irrigation (top). support of Israel. Nevada’s Hoover Dam provides electricity for Nevada. and oil supplies fell sharply while prices skyrocketed. These turbines. About one-third of U. sparking the first major development of wind farms for electric utilities. By 2000. which at the time represented nearly 90 percent of global windenergy capacity. renewable energy comes from hydropower. 18 Concerns about access to traditional fuel sources spurred new interest in wind and other alternative power sources. A small amount of renewable energy comes from solar power. Arizona and several cities in Southern California. windmills largely fell into disuse. Arab nations imposed an oil embargo on the United States in retaliation for U.WIND POWER large machine with 98-foot blades — began delivering electricity to a local grid in Vermont. Europe had more than 12 gigawatts of capacity. more than 32. In the 1980s and ’90s engineers developed many innovations currently used in multi-megawatt turbines. Getty Images/Scott Olson Getty Images/Ethan Miller Growth in Europe S Consider the Alternatives The nation’s renewable-energy toolkit includes more than just wind power.S. With the electrification of rural areas.000 solar panels generate enough electricity for 1.

have been used to keep and release it during the day. Engineers are also exploring ways to store energy in other ways.” watt. they can temporarily regulate Unless technological innovations can sigthe frequency of electrical power if nificantly reduce the cost of such storage demand or supply suddenly change. a senior energy anastorage facility in Stephentown. constructing additional reservoirs would in. Rocky Mountain Institute C www. an expert on renewFor decades.ing on batteries with other chemical combinations. wheels of one form or another.000 rotanewable energy were to supply 20 percent tions per minute. 1 gy to the grid for as long as 15 minutes. Whereas a new allow you to maintain as close a balgas-fired power plant can generate elecance in the demand and supply of tricity for about $600 to $1. on a generator when electricity is needed. www. utilities have stored comparatively small amounts able energy and biofuels at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Utilities can also trade electricity more broadly. N. company that is One of the key challenges to overnight developing flywheels for utilities. “What flywheel systems can do 24/7 is act as shock absorbers to the grid. or unreliability.About/DepartmentUploads/PDFs/MES%20White%20Paper%20submittal%20to% 20GRC%206-2008. ly grids that rely on intermittent sources of energy such as wind. June 2008. but they remain very expensive. While the flywheels are designed to provide a cushion of But overnight storage will likely continue to get considera few minutes while traditional power plants ramp up.cqresearcher. A 2008 report by the American Inelectricity from wind or other sources stitute of Chemical Engineers estimated that in the form of kinetic energy and reit could cost more than $340 billion to delease it to the grid when needed. experts say utilities that are inteLena Hansen of the Rocky Mountain Flywheels are at the forefront of a grating more renewable energy will try to Institute views electricity storage as a key wave of technological innovation derely on other methods for meeting peak challenge for the wind-energy industry. volve significant costs and extended environmental reviews. the cycle air conditioning on and off or setting dishwashers to run late changeable nature of wind would no longer represent a serious at night. of today’s research focuses on storing energy overnight and re“One of the biggest constraints for the system now is the inleasing it during peak demand times during the day. “They storage systems is the cost. Conventional lead-acid batteries are motion constant during certain mechanical activities.storing large amounts of energy that is released at a comparatively efficient rate. a battery that offers eight hours of Beacon Power is finishing constorage would likely cost $4. For example. Although such a Institute of Chemical Engineers. such as spinning cialized batteries that can hold large amounts of energy overnight wheels and potter’s wheels. meeting a obstacle to integrating large amounts of wind into electrical grids.Y. If engineers wheels.being tested at several wind farms.200 per kiloelectricity as possible. Engineers are studying an alternative storage technology: speonsider the humble flywheel: Ever since the Bronze Age. They offer the advantage of ing energy to stabilize the output from electrical grids — especial.org/uploadedFiles/ system works well.such as by creating reservoirs of compressed air in underground cavities. “Electricity storage would be game-changing. Today the too expensive and don’t last long enough. By releasing enerof the nation’s energy needs.pdf. systems.000 or more.” says Lena Hansen. lyst at the National Renewable Energy Labthat uses 200 flywheels to “store” oratory. struction on a 20-megawatt energysays Paul Denholm. spike in demand in one region with extra supply from another. director of corporate com. the water is released downhill to flow through a turbine — the modern version of the water1 Bernard Lee and David Gushee..” says Gene Hunt.com April 1. The air is used to spin the turbine munications for Beacon Power Corp. they can manage demand by reimbursing residents who can develop economical systems to store energy when the wind reduce their electrical use during peak times by using systems to is blowing and release it to the grid when winds are calm. so research is focusheavy flywheel in a car engine helps keep the crankshaft turn.” from one reservoir to another with surplus electricity.” American wheel on an old gristmill — creating electricity. When that — David Hosansky energy is needed during the day. a Tyngsboro.aiche. Now the flywheel is being used for a different purpose: stor. giant sodium-sulfur batteries the size of a double-wide trailer are ing at a constant speed. signed to address a major concern electrical demand.. Mass.. 2011 303 .Storing Energy for a ‘Rainy’ Day Technology is providing new ways to deal with peaks in power demand. a reof energy the old-fashioned way — by pumping water uphill search group in Colorado. In addition to using flyabout wind energy: its intermittency. “Massive Electricity Storage. velop mass-energy storage systems if reThe flywheels spin at 16. much able interest. ability to store electricity.

p. Europe has emerged as a center for offshore development. wind-power industry expanded by as much as 50 percent annually. partly because it has limited sites for landbased wind farms. 20 Much of the expansion stemmed from the enactment of renewableenergy standards by more than two dozen states.5 gigawatts in 2000 to about 40 at the end of 2010. its increased use has spurred controversy. has also spurred wind-farm development — although its expiration in 1999 and again in 2003 caused sporadic growth.S. Most of the renewable energy came from hydroelectric and biomass sources. The U. 306 304 CQ Researcher .4 percent in Spain. CURRENT SITUATION White House Support I n this year’s State of the Union address. energy security and the long-term availability of fossil fuels have spurred rapid expansion of wind and other forms of renewable energy in the United States and overseas. Denmark.doe. concerns have arisen over high residential electricity rates stemming partly from wind-energy subsidies.8 percent in Portugal.4 percent in Germany and 10. In 2005. President Obama set a goal of Continued on p.S. Energy Wind power and other renewable-energy sources supplied less than 10 percent of U. turbines had an average capacity of seven to 10 times the capacity of those in the1980s. beginning with Iowa in 1983. 19 By the first decade of the 21st century. depending on fluctuations in winds. Furthermore. engineers and scientists began focusing more on such issues as arranging arrays of turbines to make maximum use of winds. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year approved development of the Cape Wind project off Cape Cod. 9. which is aggressively turning to wind to help meet its fast-growing energy needs. More than 80 percent of the nation’s electricity came from oil. natural gas and coal.WIND POWER Continued from p. continue to use tax incentives and renewableenergy goals to promote wind energy. 14.S. 2009 Renewable Nuclear 8% 9% 21% Coal Petroleum 37% Natural Gas 25% Source: U. especially over wind turbines in scenic areas and the cost of new transmission lines. seeking to cut carbon-dioxide emissions. Sources of the Nation’s Energy Supply. and U. 295. a proposed 130-turbine wind farm that has faced vigorous local opposition because of potential visual and environmental impacts on Nantucket Sound.html Although wind energy is generally popular in Europe. increasingly durable and powerful turbines could generate as much as five megawatts apiece on land. which allows the turbines to extract more energy.) European countries. With individual turbines nearing maximum efficiency. www. only to lose the title last year to China. 14. first enacted in 1992 as part of comprehensive energy legislation. especially in Denmark. (See sidebar. increasing capacity from 2. with small amounts produced by wind. Moreover. Offshore wind farms present greater engineering challenges and are more expensive to build and maintain than those on land. improving wind forecasting and using remote-sensing technology to automatically reposition blades to take better advantage of gusts. sometimes exports energy to its neighbors and sometimes imports it.S. The United States has yet to construct an offshore wind farm. concerns about climate change. Such research can help wind farms generate more power in low-wind situations.1 percent in the Irish Republic. for example. they are looking into more offshore locations where turbine towers can be secured to the sea bottom. But winds over the water are comparatively reliable and contain less turbulence. the United States re-established itself as the world leader in wind-energy capacity. August.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_ energy_consump/rea_prereport. offshore turbines can support larger blades and thereby generate more power. In 1998. offshore turbines approached the 10-megawatt level. 2010. Over the past decade. solar and geothermal power. Wind Supplies Tiny Slice of U. But a number of projects are under consideration. 21 Gains have required creative approaches to the grid. eia.S. The federal production tax credit. As wind developers begin running out of optimal sites on land. and costs had dropped nearly 80 percent. Wind accounts for 24 percent of electricity use in Denmark. energy in 2009. Energy Information Administration. 302 blades made of fiberglass and other materials and sophisticated controls to better capture wind gusts.

Wind proponents also argue that their industry should receive support because wind energy could reduce America’s imports of oil. It just needs a little policy stability to do so. has had to compete despite receiving only one. But rising demand.000 years. INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY RESEARCH DANIEL SIMMONS ind power is here. Today wind power is a major. Wind is a mature energy technology. It already is. Wind energy does not merit increased government support. America boasts some of the world’s best wind resources. the Government Accountability Office concluded that fossil fuels continue to receive nearly five times the tax incentives as renewable energy. wind subsidies dwarf conventional energy subsidies. While fossil fuels receive larger total subsidies. Examining the issue during the Bush administration. heard of. Wind power also competes on cost. Our energy and fiscal situation would be improved if we removed all energy subsidies. Yet the industry already boasts 85. no w yes no t April 1. Nissan has sold only 173 Leafs. They are seldom debated or. competes on size. powering strong economic growth. The wind lobby also argues that wind should receive subsidies because conventional fuels do. for that matter. for example. Thus. Federal policies have supported wind power for decades despite the fact that it is inefficient and unreliable. compared to $1. Strong policy support for fossil fuels during the last century helped create an abundance of affordable domestic energy. New wind installations beat new coal and nuclear plants on electricity cost and are competitive with natural gas. In 2008. This argument ignores the fact that wind energy has been used for more than 7. policy incentives are needed — but only to level the playing field. fossil-fuel industries have been receiving subsidies via generous tax breaks. This safe. the Department of Energy confirmed what the industry already knew — that wind can provide 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030. Moreover. It’s time that it starts acting like it. if the comparison is made on a per-unitof-energy-output basis. With wind power. hydroelectric. It is time that wind pulls its own weight instead of relying on taxpayers’ dollars and pleading for additional subsidies and mandates. meanwhile. according to a National Academy of Sciences report commissioned by the Bush administration. People switched away from wind to other sources of energy such as coal. According to the Energy Information Administration. utilities can lock in power prices with 20-year contracts. and these other sources could be counted upon. because they are permanent. Still. but they are not competitive with gas and diesel vehicles.37 per megawatt hour. people have been trying to build electric vehicles that are competitive with conventional vehicles. mainstream source of electricity that successfully competes in all ways with any of the more traditional sources of energy. In fact. and soon wind’s share will be 20 percent.59 for nuclear. volatile prices and instability overseas have created the need for a more diverse energy supply. APRIL 2011 DENISE BODE DIRECTOR OF STATE AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS. The Congressional Research Service notes that for more than 90 years. Wind proponents argue that wind is not a “mature” technology and should therefore receive subsidies. fossil fuels cost Americans $120 billion annually in health damages. The industry is anxious to meet that benchmark. It also created an addiction to fossil fuels. It also ignores the fact that wind has been used to produce electricity for over 120 years. total federal subsidies for wind-generated electricity for fiscal 2007 were $23.At Issue: Should the federal government do more to support wind energy? yes CEO. coal has been used to make electricity for only five years longer than wind. but electric cars are very expensive and lack the range of conventional vehicles. shipping became much more reliable when vessels switched from sails to coal power.cqresearcher. Wind power. These anemic sales should improve. 44 cents for coal and 25 cents for natural gas and petroleum liquids. APRIL 2011 here is no justification for increasing support for wind. and Chevy has sold 928 Volts.000 jobs and 400 manufacturing plants in the United States — making the wind-power industry one of the fastest-growing manufacturing sectors in America. For over 100 years. This is unlikely because wind produces electricity while cars and trucks run on gasoline and diesel. Wind may not seem like a “mature” technology because it is unreliable. on top of direct subsidies. and it’s free. 2011 WRITTEN FOR CQ RESEARCHER. Wind power. www.and two-year policy extensions.com 305 . no technological advances are needed to bring wind power into the mainstream. Electric vehicles might reduce oil consumption. There’s enough wind-energy potential to power this land 10 times over. They have yet to succeed. Wind is a fuel. For example. natural gas and petroleum because the wind doesn’t always blow. inexhaustible resource accounts for 35 percent of all new electricity generation since 2007 — more than coal and nuclear combined. set-asides and preferential treatment from the government. AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION WRITTEN FOR CQ RESEARCHER. Iowa already makes 15 percent of its electricity from wind. providing a hedge against fuel-price increases and volatility.

“But I would prefer to let standard. natural gas with the investment firm Sanford C.standard that’s proposed is very states would be wiser. is respond. duly favor one energy sector over anand clean coal. inate electricity markets. R-Tenn. Lamar Alexan“Obama’s broadened the constituency by proposing a clean-energy renewable-energy standard. Singh adds. reached Obama’s The battle between operators of wind farms and residents trying face long odds in the curdesk before Congress to stop their development is reaching a crescendo in Wisconsin. Some homeowners say the flickering shadows and noise from plan with enthusiasm. the proposal suring diversity in our enmarked a strategic reergy portfolio. “A big 20 percent of the napart of their responsibility tion’s energy come from is to avoid fuel-price volatilrenewable sources by ity. Neidebate over the nation’s enther proposal. tion allow natural gas and clean coal and natural coal to continue to domgas. they newable-energy indusshould be focused on entries. R-Mich. “A clean-energy standard is better cial to his energy agenda given the amorphous right now. A major issue is whether Singh. howevWind turbines tower over a farmhouse in rural northern Illinois. But. alternaand solar. “The other.” 22 looks at the renewableFrom the viewpoint energy standard or the of wind and other reclean-energy standard. but I’m not aware of ergy and Natural Reany non-renewable sources sources Committee apthat can do the same. Leaving such mandates to the support from those industries — cru. Wind can offer a stable 2020. Or. 304 to ensure that a percentage of the nation’s energy generating 80 percent comes from renewable of the nation’s energy sources — perhaps by infrom so-called cleancluding a specific target energy sources by 2035. Obama hoped to draw Bernstein & Co. It’s a big picsharply conservative tilt of Congress ture.” says Gramtreat. ergy future. The House in 2009 lich of the American Wind voted to require that Energy Association. they said. The wind industry. A lot of work needs to go into than a renewable-energy standard or defining clean energy. tively.” says Saurabh plan emerge. sell their houses — if they can — and move. we will need them all which the wind industry — and I urge Democargues could prevent wind rats and Republicans to from expanding? work together to make “Whether Congress it happen. To meet this goal. but Congress over climategiant turbines are so distracting that they want to Republicans argued that a change legislation.” Obama said. a senior research associate a standard would include provisions of the House Energy and Commerce 306 CQ Researcher Getty Images/Scott Olson . it appears to er. within the broader clean “Some folks want wind energy goal.” one that picks and chooses among the following the 2010 elections. largely bewhere the wind industry says proposed statewide standards for Democrats greeted Obama’s cause of bitter debate in locating turbines will stymie their construction.WIND POWER Continued from p. rent Congress. and the Senate Enprice.” said Sen. A number of adjourned.” proved a 15 percent While the president’s prorenewable-energy stanposal for a clean-energy standard that would have dard is likely to generate taken effect in 2021. would the legisla“Others want nuclear.der. federal standard could drive By broadening the up electricity rates and unproposed energy standard to include nuclear.” 23 Added Fred Upton.. and that might help his ing cautiously until more details of the states make these decisions. chairman plan get more support. which prefers a kinds of energy.

however. Some homeowners say the flickering shadows and noise from giant turbines is so distracting that they want to sell against the wind industry.” 24 In addition to a clean-energy standard.” The wind industry is concerned that allowing the tax credit to expire would stunt new investment. prevent local governments from requiring wind turbines to be built more than 1.” — Tom Larson Director of Legal and Public Affairs. Wisconsin Realtors Association Not in My Backyard T he battle between energy companies that want to install new wind farms and residents trying to stop development is reaching a crescendo in Wisconsin.cqresearcher.” says Christine Tezak. He adds that flickering shadows from the turbines are “like the Bat-signal [for Batman] right on your house. “energy independence is not achieved through government dependence. . such as the production tax credit for renewable energy. but wind only has it for a year or two. barring tur- “Residents have indicated that the turbines that are located too close to homes can have an adverse impact on their health — everything from high anxiety levels to high blood pressure to rapid heart rate. But that can be difficult. the credit will expire next year. “A permanent extension is a dream too far. . constantly. “Residents have indicated that the turbines that are located too close to homes can have an adverse impact on their health — everything from high anxiety levels to high blood pressure to rapid heart rate. erupted in December when Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission approved rules that. The uncertainty over the tax credit “has a negative effect on the business and . among other things. This has led to a conflicting set of rules. Over the last decade. “When we go into the expiration at the end of 2012. at least temporarily. chief lobbyist and director of legal and public affairs for the association.com April 1. A top priority for the wind industry is making the credit permanent.800 feet of a property line.” says Gates of Clipper Windpower. 2011 307 . A joint legislative committee voted March 1 to suspend the rules. which pits property owners bines from being built within 1. It’s a big deal. He warns that the requirements are so strict that wind developers would be unable to build new wind farms in Wisconsin.” says Tom Larson. If Walker’s proposal were adopted. Last extended as part of an economic stimulus plan in 2010. or at least passing a long-term extension. Republican Gov. Local officials in Wisconsin. long-term job growth. analysts warn that a renewal of the production tax credit is far from certain. “It will be very challenging for the industry. Meanwhile. The wind industry viewed the new rules as a model for replacing a confusing and often shifting patchwork of city and county regulations with a single. Given congressional concerns over the budget deficit.” As for the desire to make the production tax credit permanent.Committee.250 feet from a house. “All the traditional energy sources have their support permanently. “that would be pretty devastating. Scott Walker proposed much a stricter standard.” The debate over wind-turbine setbacks. Baird & Co. the industry has experienced boom-and-bust cycles. the wind industry is keeping a close eye on federal incentives. The situation is now in limbo. she says flatly. according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association. They [the turbines] are monsters. have the authority to determine how close a wind turbine may be built to a house or property line.” says Gramlich of the American Wind Energy Association. the power to establish setbacks on a case-by-case basis. The wind industry is con- their houses and move. with growth plummeting by 70 to 90 percent in years such as 2004 after the tax credit was allowed to expire. giving local governments. lawmakers are considering a bill to give the Public Service Commission seven months to revise the rules. as in many other states. senior energy and policy analyst at the international investment firm Robert W. Nearby turbines can drive down property values by 40 percent.” cerned that proposed statewide standards for selecting locations for turbines will make it virtually impossible to build new wind farms and may energize wind opponents in other states. www. predictable statewide standard. we’re going to have a very difficult debate. But the new setback standard drew sharp criticism from property owners. with residents worried that wind farms are encroaching on farms and subdivisions.

Energy Information Administration. He previously was a senior writer at CQ Weekly and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.) China likely installed three times as much new wind capacity as the United States in 2010. But I think the growth rates over time will become less than solar.” says Baird & Co. July 16.” of people and companies. He worries that unless the two sides are able to reach a compromise. 145-168.” Industry executives. 2008. could prevent the nation from expanding its wind-energy capabilities. www. in which the wind industry added as much as 10 gigawatts of capacity. But he sees steady growth of about 5 gigawatts yearly. Steve Haymes and Walt Musial. “that is one delicate set of circumstances.nytimes. Larson says Wisconsin has become a national battleground on the issue. “Think Wind Power. 3 Statistics for wind and other energy sources in the United States from the U. Although supporters and skeptics may disagree over the extent to which wind farms may help to power America. 2 For background.” July 24. “Energy and Climate.livescience. “I think the chances of Obama’s clean-energy standard passing in the near term are effectively zero because it’s going to be a pretty ambitious target that’s going to affect a lot Notes Quoted in Andrea Thompson. such as storing surplus wind energy in giant batteries and using wind power to fuel electric cars. however. 4. where he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 2011.’s Tezak. Town Powered Completely By Wind.” May 19. July 15. Think ‘Iowa. “I think there’ll be lawsuits. www. and Barbara Mantel.iowapolicyproject. “Assessment of Offshore Wind Ener1 About the Author David Hosansky is a freelance writer in the Denver area who specializes in environmental issues. And solar offers some advantages over wind: Rooftop photovoltaic cells reduce the need for transmission lines. wind may soon face increased competition from solar energy. Singh says technical innovations could start driving down solar prices in the next five years. “The world needs more electricity. Gates of Clipper Windpower believes that the peak growth years of the last decade. But. wind industry is uncertain.” revised Jan. pp.” Feb. 2006. new wind installations in 2010 were only half the level of 2009.’ ” March 2010. may be hard to replicate.doe.” he says. His previous CQ Researcher reports include “Food Safety” and “Youth Suicide. p. Donna Heimiller.S. 19. “Study Suggests Wind Power Potential Is Much Higher Than Current Estimates. both sides agree that there is no shortage of wind energy’s key ingredient. “We’ve seen a lot of involvement from national organizations. 25 In addition to the competition with traditional fuel sources.” he says. They believe technological innovations.” Investment analyst Singh is even more dubious. 2010. Marcia Clemmitt. “The big challenge for a [clean energy standard] is that right now the stars are not particularly aligned for it. and energy from the sun tends to correspond with peak consumer demand. eia. Singh says that wind may eventually account for about 10 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption.html.” he says. such as cutting the budget and rolling back regulations.pdf. “I think it’ll be a mess. 2009. and natural gas prices are at unusually low levels — making gas an attractive alternative to wind. pp.S. a senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Lab puts it. eventually make fossil fuels virtually obsolete. and I don’t think Republicans want to support a big program right now. if adopted in other states. 433-456. “The industry has potential. 621-644. especially if supporters try to attach it to a larger energy measure.com/2009/07/16/studysuggests-wind-power-potential-is-much-higherthan-current-estimates/. “First U.html. 301.” he says. the controversy will continue to roil the state.” OUTLOOK ‘Delicate Circumstances’ I t seems unlikely that the federal government will adopt a clean-energy standard any time soon.blogs. “Modernizing the Grid. (See graph.” 308 CQ Researcher . and Marc Schwartz. along with conservation and other renewable sources.WIND POWER Some worry that Wisconsin’s approach. and Europe twice as much.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sum. see the following CQ Researcher reports: Jennifer Weeks. “Electric Power Industry 2009: Year in Review. It needs more generation of every type. Without a boost in government support. there’s plenty there. are more bullish on wind’s long-term prospects. Statistics for Iowa from the Iowa Policy Project.” Some renewable-energy advocates envision a future in which wind plays a vital role in meeting the world’s energy needs. analysts say. http:// green. It faces two challenges: Demand for new energy has declined because of the economic downturn.com/ 2704-town-powered-completely-wind. 4 John Lorinc. can. She gives it a slight chance of passing.S. “Energy Efficiency. As Paul Denholm. Congress is too focused on other highly contentious issues. Wind will definitely have decent growth rates. “but much higher than that is unlikely. 2009.org/2010docs/100303IPP-wind.” Live Science. she adds. the short-term outlook for the U. As a result.” The New York Times. pp. www. “In terms of the raw resource.

www.ubc.items/d05906.W. “Oil Jitters.S.capewind. 4245 N. 2011. pp..gao. (604) 827-4342. 75 Arlington St.” CQ Researcher.org/news room/releases/04-22-10_Poll_Shows_Wind_ Works_for_Americans. (202) 383-2500. Department of Energy.eia. 1617 Cole Blvd.html#ixzz1GVTCjN1H. 2010. April 22. 24.. 2011 309 .energy. 9 “Wind Power in America’s Future.” U.S. www. 1040 Brussels.bentekenergy. www.nrel. Power and Unintended Consequences in the Colorado Energy Market.S. 2011. CO 80401.. now cost-competitive with natural gas. www. Public Citizen. General Accounting Office. www. Institute for Energy Research. Dec. General Accounting Office. Arlington. 2. Rue d’Arlon 80. DC 20585. Advocates for renewable energy in Vermont. 19 gov/the-press-office/2011/01/25/remarks-presi dent-state-union-address. Poll Shows Wind Works for Americans.” Sustainable Business.com April 1. Opposes many wind-turbine development projects because of potential environmental consequences.org. http://archive. Jan.pdf.ca.ewea. www.org. www. 2 Brattle Square. p. U..cfm/go/news. February 2011. Suite 100. Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (2010). April 6. Texas Shows Policies Work... Cape Wind.display/ id/21684. 5 “Non-fossil fuels to take up 11.S. www. windpoweringamerica. MA 02138.com/documents/ben tek_how_less_became_more_100420-319.gov. Fairfax Dr. Rue d’Arlon 80. (202) 586-8800.cqresearcher. www.instituteforenergyresearch. (303) 245-1003. 2008.nature.eere. suppliers.gy Resources in the United States. The United States’ primary laboratory for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency research and development. 2360 East Mall. 12 Quoted in Maria Glod. 18 For background.html. Energy Information Administration.gov/wind_installed_ capacity. 1-24. www. p. www1. www. 13 U. N. 7. VA 22203.4% of China’s energy.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 6 “Wind industry finishes 2010 with half the installations of 2009. Conducts research and analysis on the functions. potential to become first offshore wind-energy project in U.html. (703) 841-5300. 1501 M St. p.rmi. N.O. 2009. 221. Va.S. Department of Energy.. www.com/index.pdf. 1000 Independence Ave.. Department of Energy. 1100 H St.gov/windand hydro/pdfs/41869.S. 2010.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/ documents/statistics/EWEA_Annual_Statistics_ 2010. 23 Darren Goode.” American Wind Energy Association.” Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program.. awea. service providers and others in the wind industry. 19.” European Wind Energy Association. Jan. CO 80302.sustain ablebusiness. Suite 704.washington post.” op. March 4. 21 “Wind in Power: 2010 European Statistics.S.W. www. 17 “By Meeting Renewable Energy Goal 15 Years Ahead of Schedule. DC 20009. p.org.. Washington.” Bentek Energy. (617) 904-3100. operations and regulations of global energy markets. 15 Robert Bryce. 8 Wind turbine capacity is given in ibid. 84. 20. Wind farm proposed in Nantucket Sound. Union of Concerned Scientists. wind farm to protect bats. VT 05702. 1040 Brussels.org. 25 “U. 10. 1600 20th St.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epaxlfile 5_2. Washington. 16. capacity for other energy sources is provided by U. (303) 275-3000. (802) 778-0660. activity up in 2011. 2011. June 2010..politico.gov. nrel.pdf.ucsusa. Canada. Washington.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/09/ AR2009120904106. P. European Wind Energy Association. www. p. Department of Energy. Suite 1000. Belgium. 1820 Folsom St. “Wind Power in America’s Future. N. Washington. 14 Ibid. Jan.” Politico.” China Daily.com.org. p. op.” ibid. Seeks to reduce the environmental impact of energy use.energize vermont.awea. Energy Information Administration.cfm. 32-2-2131897. Jan.eia. Box 605. 9.awea. (202) 621-2950. 11 “Wind Power: Impacts on Wildlife and Government Responsibilities for Regulating Development and Protecting Wildlife. 2008.pdf. Trade association for the international wind-energy industry. 4. DC 20005. cit. 22 White House press office. Advocacy group whose focus includes environmental issues.cerc.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION American Wind Energy Association.W. “State of the Union 2011: Key senators laud Obama ‘clean energy’ push.net. 4.org. 16 “How Less Became More: Wind.whitehouse.citizen.html.htm. Suite 400. 6.ewea. 95. Boulder. www. British Columbia V6T 1Z3.cn/bizchina/2011-03/04/content_12 117490. 20 “Wind Powering America. MA 02116. Think tank focusing on efficient use of natural resources. www.doe. coastal waters. Clean Energy Research Centre. Statistical and analytical agency within the U.” revised Jan.S. p. www.org/newsroom/pressreleases/release_0124-11.” Public Citizen. DC 20005. www. http://texasvox. www.org.W. www.gov/new. 2010. Wind Industry: 2010 Year in Review.. April 16. www. www. 24 Ibid.. (617) 5475552. S.. “Electric Power Annual.” American Wind Energy Association.S. Vancouver. National trade association representing windpower project developers.china daily.gwec.S. September 2005. org/2010/04/06/by-meeting-renewable-energygoal-15-years-ahead-of-schedule-texas-showspolicies-work/.” U. 32-2-213-1811.com/news/ stories/0111/48209. Energize Vermont. 2011. www. Cambridge. p.pdf. Rocky Mountain Institute. U. cit..asp. Rutland. www.gov/news/press/2010/885. www. Nature Conservancy. Golden. Belgium. Consumer advocacy group lobbying for renewable-energy standards. www.” The Washington Post. University of British Columbia. Global Wind Energy Council. “Court constricts W. (202) 588-1000. Promotes use of wind power across Europe. 10 “U.org.. see Peter Katel. 7 “Wind Power in America’s Future: 20% Wind Energy by 2030. 2011. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Boston.

Rob. A conservative think tank argues that a proposed federal renewable-energy standard would be highly expensive and endanger the economy.. focusing on technology. “How Clean Is Obama’s Clean Energy Standard?” The Associated Press.energy.S. Wald examines the extent to which the nation’s limited transmission system is holding back wind-energy development. 2008. Goodall. David. 310 CQ Researcher . Wald.” U. 2008. 2007.org/Research/ Reports/2010/05/A-Renewable-Electricity-Standard-WhatIt-Will-Really-Cost-Americans. Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future. www. Parks offers a concise introduction to key wind-energy issues. May 5. March 22.pdf.. with plentiful graphics and quotes from leading experts. Reports “U. Matthew L. 2011. Karen Campbell. Greystone Books. Peggy. Parks. A science writer presents opposing viewpoints about controversial aspects of wind energy.” Financial Times.. org/learnabout/publications/loader. The congressional watchdog group analyzes the potential impacts of wind farms on wildlife. and Policy Issues.gov/new. Jan. Clay Farris. Robert.com/Business/wireStory?id=12771095.html. A concise and objective overview of the benefits and drawbacks of wind energy. 2007.awea. Evans.ft. viewed at http://abcnews. 2008. including wind. 14. McNulty explains how the U.gao. Jeffrey. economics and policy issues.nytimes. wind industry. 2011. “How Enormous Batteries Could Safeguard the Grid. “Renewable energy industry shows surprising clout.gov/windandhydro/pdfs/41869. 2010. such as tax breaks. eere. Jan.S. “Renewables in the US: uneven incentives hamper growth. 4. Ben Lieberman and Nicolas Loris. www. Wind Energy Year-End 2010 Market Report. Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy. 2011. Articles Clayton. Jan. “Wind Energy Bumps into Power Grid’s Limits. Sheila. Department of Energy. Reference Point Press.S. McNulty. such as whether it can meet future energy demand in a cost-effective manner. A veteran energy journalist presents an engaging but highly critical look at sustainable-energy technologies. and Stan Mark Kaplan.opencrs.go.csmonitor. Economic. Clayton offers a comprehensive look at batteries and other storage technologies that can boost efforts to integrate more wind energy into the electrical grid. January 2011. September 2005. “Wind Power: Impacts on Wildlife and Government Responsibilities for Regulating Development and Protecting Wildlife. ed.heritage. Gurwitt. Wind Power. com/2008/08/27/business/27grid.cfm?csModule=security/ getfile&PageID=5083. 2008. “Wind Power in the United States: Technology.pdf.Bibliography Selected Sources Books Bryce. “Wind Power in America’s Future: 20% Wind Energy by 2030. 2010.stateline. 2009. “A Renewable Electricity Standard: What It Will Really Cost Americans. Chris. Fahey. 26.items/d05906. Gurwitt provides a fascinating look at the wind industry’s clout in influencing policy makers across the political spectrum.” The New York Times.” Stateline.” General Accounting Office. 2010. Kreutzer. http://www1. accessed at http://assets. www. www.” American Wind Energy Association.com/Innovation/Responsible-Tech/2009/ 0322/how-enormous-batteries-could-safeguard-the-power-grid. com/cms/s/0/6f5e9afc-1f71-11e0-87ca-00144feab49a. Robert L.S. www.org/live/ details/story?contentId=539044. that may be included under a clean-energy standard. Mark.” The Christian Science Monitor.html. Fahey analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of various energy sources. Cambridge University Press. including wind. April 27.pdf.” Heritage Foundation. The federal agency examines the potential benefits of wind energy and the challenges of deriving 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from the renewable resource by 2030. www. Ten Technologies to Save the Planet. An expert on climate change analyzes the potential of wind and other sustainable technologies to provide energy without high carbon-dioxide emission. June 20. Logan. Public Affairs. www.” Congressional Research Service. wind industry is hampered by uncertainty over future government policies. The inaugural director of the Clean Energy Research Centre at the University of British Columbia gives a balanced look at sustainable energy. A trade association provides statistics on the state of the U. Naff.com/rpts/RL34546_20080620. Jonathan. Thomson Gale. William Beach. Fueling the Future: Wind.

www. Regulations Anderson. N. “Legislative Winds in Wisconsin Could Blow Business to Illinois. easterniowabusiness.com/2010/12/28/mid american-energy-to-add-258-wind-turbines-in-2011/. www. dailyreporter. March 29. CQ Researcher. p. James. Dec. 2001: 945-68. “Rethinking the Death Penalty. Environmental Impact Darragh. Sharla. com/news/nrv/wb/243943.com/local/east/99182779. Iowa). Scott.” The Gazette (Cedar Rapids.). April 22. p. November 16. An energy company plans to increase the number of its wind turbines in Iowa. Emily. “Afton Joins List of Cities Regulating Wind Turbines. A Chicago-area restaurant owner says he has realized his dream of going green after installing a wind turbine to provide electricity for his establishment. Nov. 7.startribune. D1. Aug.com/Environment/2010/0807/ Green-living-Wind-turbines-power-a-Bronx-apartmentcomplex. 11. Jurlina.J. Pa. “Study: Energy Push Has Cost to Nature.allbusiness.” Chicago Sun-Times. www.) Times. 25. An advocacy group in New Jersey says commercially viable wind power off the state’s coast can generate electricity for all 3 million homes in the state. 2011. The push to develop wind power in Pennsylvania could wreak havoc on hundreds of acres of forest and disrupt critical natural habitats. “Report: Offshore Wind Projects Could Power 1.com/2010-11-15/news/mc-allentown-drilling-wind20101115_1_natural-gas-marcellus-shale-coalition-naturaldiversity-inventory.J. 2010. July 25. 2010.nhregister. “DEP Calls Turbine Risks ‘Negligible.” CQ Researcher 16 Nov.html. DeWitte.” The Christian Science Monitor. p. 2001.csmonitor.) Register. Kenneth. Stresses Wind’s Power Potential. Jim. 2010.html?elr= KArks:DCiUtEia_nDaycUiacyKUUr. Luther. CITING CQ RESEARCHER Sample formats for citing these reports in a bibliography include the ones listed below. “Pilot Project Uses the Power of Wind. www. Preferred styles and formats vary. Tim. “N. N. Karen. Kenneth.). Dec. April 20. p.). A3. “MidAmerican Energy to Add 258 Wind Turbines in 2011. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection says there would be negligible environmental consequences if the state decides to harness offshore wind power. Dec. Va. “Turbines on Poor Mountain Would Have Large Impact. arti cles.. Rethinking the death penalty. A5.J.. Scott.” The Record (Bergen County. p.“Green Living: Wind Turbines Power a Bronx Apartment Complex.com/blog/2011/01/25/legisla tive-winds-could-blow-business-to-illinois/. so please check with your instructor or professor.” New Haven (Conn.). www.5M Homes. Turmelle. 2010. p. to determine the feasibility of wind power in an urban environment. 19.Y. (2001. A11.” Star Tribune (Minneapolis. “Restaurant Takes Spin on the Green Side. Virginia Tech researchers are working to install a wind turbine at the YMCA in Blacksburg. 2. 945-968. A4.” Morning Call (Allentown. www.com April 1. B1. June 19. MLA STYLE Jost. Environmentalists say the development of wind turbines on a mountain in Virginia would lead to land clearing and soil erosion that would have negative consequences. New Wisconsin regulations restricting the development of wind turbines could lead companies that specialize in wind farms to bring more of their business to neighboring Illinois.txt. 2.” Daily Reporter (Milwaukee). 2010.’ ” Herald News (Passaic County. Dave. Lydersen. with a focus on environmental responsibility. according to the Nature Conservancy. reliability and price stability. More and more cities in Minnesota are crafting regulations for wind turbines as the technology becomes more popular.mcall. NRV4. 2011 311 .roanoke. 2010. p. K. 2010. 2010.com/articles/2010/12/07/busi ness/dd1_wind1202120710. 16. Matt. 2010. N. Jan. 945-968.” Roanoke (Va.The Next Step: Additional Articles from Current Periodicals Developments Bardin. Minn. 30. Energy Potential Friedman.) Times. 2010.” Roanoke (Va. Kari.5 million homes in the region. Fallon.cqresearcher. p. Ten wind turbines mounted atop an apartment complex in the Bronx. CHICAGO STYLE Jost.com/government/government-bodiesoffices-regional-local/15307906-1. generate enough power for all tenants when the wind blows steadily. Briggs. “Rethinking the Death Penalty.” CQ Researcher. APA STYLE Jost. A report by several labor groups concludes that enough wind power exists off the New England coast to power about 1. November 16).

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