chapter  4
24 Pages

Wind Energy

The Department of Energy reported in August of 2011 that “wind energy has been growing at an average rate of 25% per year, making [it] the fastest growing source of energy in the world since 1990” (Energy Basics: Wind Power Animation, 2011.). Demand for alternative energy sources and improvements in the technology behind wind power have provoked discussion from many angles. Proponents, such as the American Wind Energy Association, argue that wind is a clean, cost-eff ective, alternative energy source that provides security against unstable fossil fuel prices, and helps diversify the United States’ energy portfolio (Utilities and Wind Power, n.d.). Besides the contentions of noise, aesthetics, and avian mortality, opponents contend that other energy sources, such as natural gas, are more cost-eff ective. Skeptics add that approval for wind farms is just as diffi cult to obtain as coal-fi red plants because of NIMBY protests (Eilperin, 2012).