Wind is an energy source that’s abundant, free and clean. As a result, its popularity for producing electricity is growing dramatically. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) projects 30-fold growth of electricity provided by wind within as little as five yearS. Here’s why:
Wind energy is an accepted energy solution worldwide. Many European countries produce 10 percent or more of their power from the wind; in Denmark, it’s 20 percent.
Helps the environment
New wind projects accounted for about 40 percent of new power producing capacity in the United States in 2008, according to the AWEA. That means wind power will keep carbon emissions from increasing by almost 44 million tons – the equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road.
The more America uses wind power, the less dependent we will be on other countries for our energy. In 2008, electric power generated by the wind increased 50 percent in the U.S., and $17 billion was invested in wind power projects. The U.S. Department of Energy has reported that a major portion of the nation’s electricity — 20 percent — could be generated by wind power in 20 years. Federal and state agencies are offering attractive incentives to help that become a reality.
Growth of small wind solutions
The U.S. market for small wind turbines (those with capacities of 100kw or less), grew 78 percent in 2008, according to the AWEA. The AWEA also reported that U.S. manufacturers sold about half of all small wind turbines installed worldwide that year.