Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of power in the world. With our tremendous wind resources, the United States can become a world leader in wind energy. Today, there are more than 61 gigawatts of installed wind capacity, enough to provide electricity to 15 million American homes. States like Iowa and South Dakota already get 20 percent of their power from wind, and the Department of Energy says that we can get 20 percent of our power as a nation from wind energy alone by 2030.
As a growing power source, wind energy provides a major economic development opportunity. In some parts of the country, farmers harness the wind and sell the extra energy they generate for a profit, and wind farm development brings construction jobs, leasing royalties, and increased tax revenues to local communities.
Wind energy plays an important role in fighting climate change and weaning us off fossil fuels. However, wind projects should be developed and operated to avoid and minimize impacts on wildlife, particularly avian species.
How Does it Work?
Often standing 300 feet or taller to capture the full force of the wind, modern wind turbines use state-of-the-art technology to turn wind into electricity. When the wind blows, the blades begin to spin, turning an electric generator to create electricity. This electricity is carried through the turbine tower to underground wire that feed into the electric grid.