There is no question that fossil fuels present many problems both to our environment and our economy. Every day new studies are being done to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of our alternative energy options. Wind power is one of these options. It is free and it is always available. In fact, we have already begun to generate some wind power. It is not yet clear how much this alternative energy source can meet our consumption needs.
Research shows that wind power has the capability to become a major contributing source of the US power supply. A new Department of Energy report shows that wind energy could provide for twenty percent of the total energy needs in twenty years. So by 2030, we could have one fifth of our electricity needs solved by the power of wind.
As the Department of Energy examines the various scenarios of energy production and consumption over the next decade and beyond they have compared outcomes. They have looked into the varying effects different levels of production would have and the possibility that they could occur. Their report contends that wind energy has the capability of meeting more than 20 percent of our country’s needs by 2030.
In order to generate 20 percent of our power from wind energy by the year 2030 the construction of new wind generation stations would have to pick up its pace. If you increase the rate of production to the point where in nine years we could produce 16,000 MW per year then we would then be able to reach the twenty percent mark by 2030.
Not only would the new wind generators create low cost electricity, but their creation will create a lot of jobs in a whole new industry. And this would be a new growing industry with almost guaranteed growth potential. The production levels mentioned would equate to 150,000 jobs in the wind power industry and over half a million new jobs total counting all of the support industries like lawyers, accountants, steel workers and electricians.
We all know that wind power is a great improvement over fossil fuels when it comes to our environment. Wind power will also make our country more energy self-sufficient. The more energy we can produce at home the less we need from foreign suppliers.
Another benefit is that wind power and wind generation does not have an impact on the surrounding environment. The stations will need to be located many places throughout the country, but the land that they used can be shared with other purposes, such as farming or grazing livestock. It does not damage the environment the way oil drilling and coal mining does.
Wind power also consumes no water, which is something that will be of increasing importance by 2030 or even sooner as many states will experience water shortages that may verge on a crisis in the future. The fact that wind power can provide for our electrical needs without destroying habitat or taking up lots of a precious natural resource makes it a very attractive alternative to the current system.
Originally posted 2009-09-07 11:44:32.