Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There is hope...

In 10 years time, America has increased wind generation capacity by a factor of almost 13, one third of that coming in the last year alone. With cheaper and more abundant sources of equipment and expertise, this trend will certainly continue. With 35 GW of capacity at the end of 2009, that represents about 22% of the world's total installed wind power (about 160 GW), so we are catching up fast. We are now #1 on the list of countries (unless you consider the entire EU a single country, in which case they generate twice as much in total). America's total power generation capacity is 101,050 GW, so that means wind has increased from about 0.25% to 3.3% of our total capacity in the last decade. If the trend continues over the next decade, wind power could represent 30% of our total electrical capacity. Who says renewable energy is just a dream?!?

Visual aspects of wind power generation aside, we can't continue our reliance on fossil fuels to generate power for us. It is bad for the air we breath, the water we drink, and the fish we eat. Far too many people die defending the supply line, mining the earth, or in well explosions -- and the disasters of late simply drive this home. Yet our political leaders both current and past have done NOTHING to move us forward. Please just give us a Kennedy-like challenge to become green and sustainable by the end of this decade. This is a solvable problem if we just have the courage to accept it and bear the pain for the short time that will be required to move us to a better place.

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