Wind power. It’s the Next Big Thing.
What’s hot in 2015? Wind. Wind power is the fastest-growing electricity sources in the world. According to the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research group that studies global environmental concerns, it has grown 150 percent since 1990. At the same time, nuclear energy growth has remained flat at around 1 percent. Coal is still the dominant energy source, but it isn’t growing.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of wind power’s growth is happening in Europe and China. The United States, slow to accept change around where its energy comes from, is lagging far behind its more progressive peers across the pond. Slow and steady wins the race, however, and this may indeed be the case with this renewable energy source. Extra challenges include a strong coal lobby and a less-than-welcoming attitude from local utility companies.
Spread the Word
The single most important factor likely to increase wind power’s proliferation in the United States might be marketing. Marketing can be expensive, and if wind power generated huge profits, it wouldn’t need marketing. It got some free press when The Onion, a satirical publication, reported in 2011 the coal lobby had claimed wind turbines are dangerous because they could cause the earth to blow away. More seriously, the energy source was brought to the forefront of the world’s consciousness by the 2010 book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, by William Kamkwamba, a native of Malawi who brought life-saving power to his village by constructing a windmill out of trash he found in a nearby dump.
Seeing is Believing
So wind power has been forced to rely somewhat on self-promotion. Seeing the big turbines spinning in the breeze brings home the idea that this power is a real, reliable, efficient energy source. (Some people don’t find the turbines as beautiful as others — the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy famously fought their installation on Cape Cod because he said it would mar the views from the Kennedy compound. He lost.) A lot of people don’t see the turbines at all. Often located in far-flung areas, the turbines and their ability to generate power can be out of sight, out of mind, so getting the word out continues to be a challenge.
Despite the widespread fears of oil and coal producers throughout the world, Worldwatch says wind power is unlikely to take over anytime soon as the major source of electricity — after all, it’s not windy everywhere — but it could potentially garner more than 20 percent of the market.
If you want to join this nascent, economical, clean, renewable energy movement, call Intermountain Wind & Solar. They can show you how wind power can slash energy costs at your home or business, or inform you on how investing in a wind farm can bring you profits without guilt.