"Whither Wind"; A Discussion On The Debate Of Wind Power

749 words - 3 pages

In the article "Whither Wind" Charles Komanoff raises serious questions and issues for both sides of the wind power debate. He reveals that to reduce carbon dioxide within the atmosphere, emissions from burning fuels must decrease by at least 50 percent within the next few decades. This also means that the United States, the world's largest contributor of CO2, must lower their output by 75 percent. Although many believe automobiles are the main reason for the excess amount of carbon dioxide, power generation is the most significant, accounting for 38 percent of the CO2 emissions. Unlike electricity generated by CO2 emitting fossil fuel plants, wind turbines generate 100 percent clean, renewable electricity. Komanoff proposed that if we erect the 400,000 wind turbines necessary to substitute for coal-fired power plants to reduce the amount of CO2 pollution from the U.S by nearly 75 percent. Each turbine requires about 60 acres therefore alluding that those 400,000 turbines would need 37,500 square miles. He concludes his piece of work by stating that he is for the movement of a wind powered future.I agree with the author that although wind power is not the complete answer to the oil and pollution problem, it is definitely a step in the right direction. We need to also conserve electricity, educate the public more, and lower the oil consumption of cars. If people are able to conserve more, then the wind power becomes that much more suitable. As Komanoff stated, "If Congress enacted an energy policy that harnessed the spectrum of cost-effective energy efficiency together with renewable energy, ensuring that fossil fuel use shrank...a windmill's contribution to climate protection might actually register..."(Komanoff, Sept 2006). Whether or not our present culture will use as much power as can be generated is not the point. What determines electricity use is not the capacity of the grid but the number and type of lights, motors, gadgets, etc. installed in our homes, businesses and factories, and how often they are turned on (BLM, June 2005). Shrinking usage through conservation and efficiency while at the same time installing wind turbines is the fastest and most assured way to remove fossil fuels from the electricity category.According to a U.S. Department of Energy report, wind power could provide 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs by 2030. The report identifies the steps that need to be addressed to reach...

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