HARNESSING WIND ENERGY
The benefits of wind power are limitless. Being a renewable source of clean energy, it doesn't have the negative impact on the environment that other energy sources have. It is affordable. The costs to produce energy are low when compared to other energy sources. Wind is a renewable energy source. As long as there is wind, we will be powering things with it. It is already being used as a viable power source for your home, as well as for the country in general. As we research it more and learn to produce more energy with better technologies utilizing the wind, it will be an even greater energy source for our power hungry world.
Wind energy is the fastest growing alternative power source today. It can credit its popularity to the fact that it is clean, sustainable, limitless and provides employment for many people. With this one little resource we can start to solve two issues we face today; the need for alternative energy sources and need for more employment opportunities. There is very little environmental impact. It produces no harmful side and has a limitless supply.
Wind power only costs about 3-10 cents per kWh. The price is stable and does not go up because it is free and in great supply. The cost should only go down as we research and develop better ways to harness its power more efficiently.
Another of the wind power benefits is that is creates jobs. Unemployment rates are at an all time high. The wind energy technology produces more jobs per dollar invested than any other traditional or alternative energy solutions. It is estimated that every megawatt of wind energy capacity produces roughly 15-19 jobs. As new technologies emerge in the wind power industry, that number is expected to rise.
The wind energy industry seeks a national 25% renewable electricity by 2025 standard. This policy would provide a long-term commitment to renewable energy in the U.S., giving businesses the certainty they need to invest in new wind energy manufacturing facilities, and to expand current ones - creating tens of thousands of new American jobs. This long-term policy would also put the U.S. on a path to achieving the significant carbon dioxide emission reductions desperately needed to protect the health of our planet.
There are now bills in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives calling for 25% renewable electricity by 2025 policies. Please contact your Senators and Representatives to express your support for a national RES and to ask them to co-sponsor the leading RES proposals.
Small Wind Systems Tax Credit
Under present law, a federal-level investment tax credit (ITC) is available to help consumers purchase small wind turbines for home, farm, or business use. Owners of small wind systems with 100 kilowatts (kW) of capacity or less can receive a credit for 30% of the total installed cost of the system.
Key findings from EER's North American Wind Energy Market Forecasts 2009-2020 include: US federal policy has established a foundation for tremendous North American wind growth once the financial crisis subsides, with long-term build-out rate dictated by grid expansion. With nearly 155 GW of onshore wind installed by 2020, the US will be the second-largest wind market by cumulative installed capacity behind China; Texas will register as the world's sixth largest wind market by 2020.
Bracing for a worldwide recession, the global wind industry now finds itself nearing the trough of the current economic crisis. The trickle of negative news initiated in September 2008 following Lehman Brothers' collapse has now become a steady flow of wind industry CAPEX reductions, project postponements, order cancellations, and corporate downsizings on a scale never seen before in this relatively young segment of the energy sector. EER's recently released global wind forecasts, delving deep into the implications of the crisis for wind energy, project annual MW additions will decline by 24% in the US and 19% in Europe this year.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAWT AND VAWT?
Both, the Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) and Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT), are shown above.
HAWT is the traditional style of fan bladed windmill, while the VAWT has the spindle shape. The HAWT must be facing the wind to meet maximum efficiency, and also, while spinning, the long blades are invisible to birds and present an ongoing environmental hazard. The VAWT's tight upright design do not pose the same threat to nature.
S.A.F.E. opts to use the nature-friendly VAWT technology, as the scoops spin regardless of the wind direction, without requiring re-positioning.
Current Status: The ITC, written into law through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, is available for equipment installed from October 3, 2008 through December 31, 2016. The value of the credit is now uncapped, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
U.S. stimulus package paving the way for a 'Green New Deal'.
Although liquidity in the U.S. wind project debt and equity markets will be the greatest determinant of near-term market growth potential, the Obama Administration's stimulus package has created a foundation for strong U.S. market recovery once project finance health returns to the industry. In addition, utility efforts to meet state RPS requirements are helping to sustain wind activity through the current market slump. Over the longer term, new transmission geared toward tapping wind resources will have a substantial impact on post-financial crisis wind growth prospects in the U.S., with the budding U.S. offshore wind market also to diversify growth into the next decade.
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