The Sierra Club
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
☰ Menu
 

Wind

clean energy

Wind Energy

Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of power on the planet. With our tremendous wind resources, the United States can become a world leader in wind energy. Today, there are more than 50 gigawatts of installed wind capacity, enough to provide electricity to 13 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. Not only do farmers already harness the wind and sell the extra energy they generate for a profit, but wind farm development brings construction jobs, leasing royalties, and increased tax revenues to local communities. If the United States were to produce just 20 percent of its energy from wind, roughly 800,000 jobs would be created, annual property tax revenues would increase to $1.5 billion, and annual payments to rural landowners would increase to $600 million by 2030.

How Does it Work?

Standing as tall as 300 feet 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 underground, where it feeds into the electric grid.