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Wind Energy

About wind energyAbout Wind Energy

Wind energy has been harnessed as power for more than 4,000 years. Today a high-tech industry, wind energy has become the fastest growing energy source in the world. Using state-of-the-art wind turbine technology to power homes and businesses, wind is becoming an increasingly cost-effective source of clean energy.

The U.S. has the wind energy potential to power more than 20 percent of the nation by 2020. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), more than 9,149 megawatts (MW) of wind energy is available to the nation powering tens of thousands of homes, businesses, and cities.

Modern turbines are about 350 feet tall, about as tall as a giant Redwood, from base to the tip of the blade and are usually located on farmland or ridgelines where wind speeds average 15 to 18 miles per hour. Each turbine produces approximately 4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, enough electricity to power 500 average homes.

Wind energy is a pure, endless and homegrown resource. Using wind energy makes a difference for the environment and the economy as well. Wind farms create jobs and revenue—in landowner royalties and taxes for rural communities. Because turbines use less than five percent of the land on which they are sited, the remaining 95 percent can be used for other purposes, such as farming, ranching or forestry.

While wind energy prices have dropped considerably in the last 20 years due to increased customer demand and improvements in technology, wind energy still costs more to produce today than conventional energy. The additional cost represents the difference between the lower cost of conventional electricity and the higher cost of wind generated electricity.

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