Wind Power Increasing

By Deane Barker on January 19, 2008

Wind power growth gusts strongly in USA in 2007: We drove from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Cedar Rapids, Iowa a couple weeks ago, and the landscape was just littered with windmills — there were hundreds of them.

U.S. wind power grew 45% in 2007, the sharpest rise since the 1980s, […] The industry installed 5,244 megawatts in 2007, accounting for 30% of all new electricity-generating capacity, […]

I’ve always found windmills to be visually relaxing. Those big blades, turning slowly in the wind. I just love looking at them.

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Comments

  1. Yup, visually they’re pretty soothing on the eye though I always got the impression of driving through a dinosaur theme-park… A drawback to wind power that we’re discussing a lot out here in N. Calif is the cost to the bird population, particularly raptors.

    The big installation out here is Altamont pass where “…a 2004 California Energy Commission report estimated the golden eagle toll to be between 75 and 116 a year, while total bird kills were put in the 1,766 to 4,721 range.”

    The operators have agreed to shut down the more lethal generators for about 2 months out of the year. The Audabon society has filed suit saying more needs to be done, etc, etc. More here http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/02/MNITTM9FA.DTL.

    And for another “no free lunch” discussion of renewable/ clean energy, take a look at press discussing biofuel’s impact on world commodity prices for such staples as palm oil & corn. But I digress…

    thx, -Craig

  2. We have the same windmill phenomenon in Eastern Washington (State), where the wind blows a lot. Several locations are located in windy passes away from major highways, so the off-in-the-distance view can be cool.

  3. […] the cost to the bird population, particularly raptors.

    It gets frustrating because there’s no solution to energy problems that doesn’t involve some downside. Ethanol raises corn prices. Nuclear power means nuclear waste. Coal means incredible pollution. Etc.

    I feel like you just have to pick the least disagreeable downside and go with it. Everything has a cost.

  4. Wind power go [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7201887.stm], anyone up for kiting (I love powerkiting) ? ?

    As to the windmills I seriously can’t understand the nimby’s that cry out about these, I love seeing windmills, they are simply entrancing, A coastal town near mine is having some built about 4 miles offshore, I believe the town stands to benefit from it especially if they put flashing lights on them attracting night time coastal visitors and it would look great when the pier holds its yearly opening and closing fireworks displays

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