Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wind energy grows from a zephyr to a gale

"I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies"

The symphonies the wind plays these days are opuses of power, jobs, and growth. In 2004, less than 2% of new electricity generating capacity came from wind power. Just 4 years later, that number had risen to 42%.

Jobs grew along with installed capacity. At the end of 2007, the wind energy sector employed about 50,000 workers. Twelve months later, the figure had soared 70%, to 85,000.

And the trend will only continue. Total installed capacity is expected to grow by 20% this year, or another 5 GW. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that by 2030, fully 20% of the nation's electricity will be generated by wind turbines.

In other words, 1 in every 5 watts flowing through transmission lines will owe its birth to the wind.

The answer is, indeed, blowin' in the wind.

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