Why Wind Energy

THE EVOLUTION OF ENERGY

Currently, the US consumes 25% of the world's energy. Fossil Fuels - oil in particular - have so revolutionized our quality of life, there is an ever increasing worldwide demand. Both China and India have begun to ramp up their economic engines as they too want the way of life that has only occurred because of cheap, abundant oil. As oil supplies have begun to decline throughout the world, Hubbert''s Peak now reveals itself as fact, not prognostication. In a mere 150 years, since the first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania, we are witnessing the end of the oil cycle. In fact, some experts predict that at the rate of current consumption the world's supply of oil could be exhausted in as little as 45 years.

Hubbert Peak Graph

M. King Hubbert, while working for Shell Oil as a geophysicist in 1957, predicted the peak of the North American oil supply. His projections came true and his theories are the centerpiece for the debate on peak oil production.

WIND POWER vs OTHER FORMS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Investment opportunities may not be appropriate for the general public and are not discussed on this website. The following information is a general overview of wind power and is provided for informational purposes only.

Hydroelectric power is limited to areas where there are sufficient quantities of water to generate electricity. Solar power plants are limited to areas with abundant annual sunshine. They are affected by seasonal changes and weather conditions, and the panels render a sizeable amount of land unusable for anything else.

Wind power, on the other hand, while dependent on areas of recorded sustained wind velocity, can be generated day or night and is not affected by most weather conditions.

Wind Farms

  • Wind farms can be built on suitable rural land situated in the wind corridor of the central United States. In fact, the US has a considerable number of these wind corridors both on land and off shore.
  • Wind farms are the least invasive to the environment. Farmers can continue to grow crops and ranchers can still graze cattle. Wind farms need no water to produce electricity.
  • U.S. wind farms may reduce the US dependence on foreign oil supplies.
  • Wind farms may only encourage technological advances in renewable energy.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT OF THE WIND INDUSTRY

The US Government has created numerous programs to move the process forward. The various state governments (including Texas) have adopted or plan to adopt RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARDS FOR ELECTRICITY (RPS). The RPS simply outlines that each state will be required to provide a large percentage of electrical generation to originate from renewable resources. Currently the RPS targets vary from state to state but range from 10% to over 20% in time frames ranging from 2000 to 2025. The Department of Energy programs include government guaranteed loans and production tax credits for electricity generated by certain qualified energy resources.

The US wind industry has expanded past the 20,000 MW milestone in installed electrical generation capacity. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that wind now provides over 25,100 MW of electricity mainly due to a favorable environment for renewable programs driven by government sponsored Production Tax Credits. This has been a necessary government subsidy that the industry has relied on to fund existing wind farm developments in the US.

FUTURE WIND GROWTH

With wind installations reaching 8,358 MW in 2008, the wind energy capacity of the US has grown fifty percent in one year. The numbers from AWEA show the growth of thirty-two percent each year from 2005 - 2010. Wind energy installations are ahead of the Department of Energy's curve for contributing a minimum of 20% of our domestic power supply by 2030.