E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


Wind energy works; other news

(Friday, July 8, 2005 -- CropChoice news) --

1. American Corns Growers Expand Advocacy for Wind Energy: ACGA Joins "Wind Energy Works!"
2. DOE Says Wind is Most Viable Renewable Energy
3. Wind galore: Faith, Hope and Charity add to Scottish island's coffers

1. American Corns Growers Expand Advocacy for Wind Energy: ACGA Joins "Wind Energy Works!"

For Immediate Release
Larry Mitchell (202) 835-0330 www.acga.org
Christine Real de Azua 202-383-2508 christine@awea.org

WASHINGTON­ July 8, 2005 ­ Larry Mitchell, Chief Executive of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA), today announced his organization’s membership in a new national campaign to expand the understanding and acceptance of the benefits of wind-generated electricity. Led by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), nearly two dozen organizations, including ACGA, have announced the formation of "Wind Energy Works!", a broad national coalition of wind energy advocates that is intended to be the largest pro-wind energy development organization of its kind in the United States.

"Wind Energy Works! will actively and aggressively engage in the public conversation over the merits of wind energy, educate the public about the many benefits of wind energy development," said Mitchell. "Wind Energy Works! will also act as a counterbalance to the misinformation being spread by wind energy opponents in communities across the country."

"Wind energy works because it is one of the cleanest, most environmentally friendly energy sources in the world, helps reduce our country’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, creates jobs and supports local economies," said Randall Swisher, Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association. "But despite all of these benefits, there is an ongoing effort by wind energy opponents to mislead the public and hinder or block further wind energy development across the country. This new coalition will make the positive case for continued wind energy development and engage the public with the facts."

There is great support in this country for wind energy development. A May 2005 Yale University poll found that 87 percent of Americans support expanded wind farms and 86 percent want increased funding for renewable energy research. Despite such widespread support, opponents have mounted a concerted effort to distort the truth about wind energy’s benefits and spread misinformation to the public in an attempt to influence their favorable perception of wind energy. The Wind Energy Works! coalition was created to counter myths with facts.

The initial organizations in the coalition include a diverse array of national, regional and local environmental, agricultural, economic development, faith-based and wind and renewable energy advocacy groups. Members include: Earth Policy Institute, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Izaak Walton League of America, Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Corn Growers Association, the American Corn Growers Foundation, Prowers County Development, Inc., and The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power and Light. Wind and renewable energy advocacy organization members include: AWEA, Renewable Energy Long Island, Western Resource Advocates, the Renewable Northwest Project, Wind Power New York, Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), The Wind Coalition, Green Energy Ohio, Wind on the Wires, the Interwest Energy Alliance, Clean Energy Partnership, Renew Wisconsin, West Wind Wires, ! Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficie Economy (ME3), and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. This initial group will be supplemented over time by an even broader set of national, regional, state and local organizations.

Although the establishment of the coalition was spurred by AWEA, the coalition’s vision is to become a broad-based alliance of independent voices providing a platform for organizations from the environmental, agricultural, business, health, social justice, faith, and academic communities to promote their combined expertise and perspective on the need for continued wind energy development. This effort will reach every corner of the country and every level of the wind energy conversation ­ from local town hall meetings to state media coverage to the floor of the U.S. Senate, the coalition’s presence will be felt and its perspective will be voiced.


2. DOE Says Wind is Most Viable Renewable Energy

DTN, 07/07/05

OMAHA (DTN) -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has worked with the U.S. wind energy industry for more than 30 years to turn yesterday's dream for a clean, renewable energy source into today's most viable renewable energy technology.

Wind power -- the technology of using wind to generate electricity -- is the fastest-growing new source of electricity worldwide. Wind energy is produced by massive three-bladed wind turbines that sit atop tall towers and work like fans in reverse. Rather than using electricity to make wind, turbines use wind to make electricity.

Wind turns the blades and the blades spin a shaft that is connected through a set of gears to drive an electrical generator. Large-scale turbines for utilities can generate from 750 kilowatts (a kilowatt is 1,000 watts) to 1.5 megawatts (a megawatt is 1 million watts). Homes, telecommunications stations, and water pumps use single small turbines of less than 100 kilowatts as an energy source, particularly in remote areas where there is no utility service.

In wind plants or wind farms, groups of turbines are linked together to generate electricity for the utility grid. The electricity is sent through transmission and distribution lines to consumers.

Since 1980, research and testing sponsored by the DOE Wind Program has helped reduce the cost of wind energy from 80 cents (current dollars) per kilowatt hour to between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour today.

One goal of the Wind Program is to further reduce the cost of utility-scale wind energy production to 3 cents per kilowatt hour at land-based, low-wind-speed sites and 5 cents per kilowatt hour for offshore (ocean) sites. A low-wind-speed site is one where the annual average wind speed measured 10 meters above the ground is 13 miles per hour.

To accomplish this and other goals, two of DOE's main research laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, work with industry partners and university researchers nationwide to further advance wind energy technologies. Each laboratory has unique skills and capabilities to meet industry needs.

NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) is the lead research facility for the wind program. NWTC conducts research and supports industry partners in design and review analysis, component development, systems and controls analysis, testing, utility integration, technical assistance, and more. Sandia conducts research in advanced manufacturing, component reliability, aerodynamics, structural analysis, material fatigue, and control systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Program to make clean and sustainable wind energy cost effective for several market applications has made significant progress in recent years and is on a steady course to further significant improvements. Sound and sustainable development of this renewable energy resource is a key element of the U.S. strategy to reduce national reliance on carbon-based fuels and reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Wind galore: Faith, Hope and Charity add to Scottish island's coffers

Owen Bowcott
Wednesday June 29, 2005
The Guardian

They have been nicknamed Faith, Hope and Charity and are the pride and joy of Willie McSporran. They also generate a tidy income for the islanders on Gigha.

The three wind turbines stand 30 metres (100 ft) above the southern end of the Scottish island, scything through the stiff Atlantic breeze as they supply the national grid.

"Windmills are the future," enthuses Mr McSporran, 69, who recently retired as chairman of the Gigha Heritage Trust. "On a windy day we produce more electricity than we use on the island. The people who live beside them are delighted.

"You just hear a little swish as the blade passes overhead. You can speak beside them as you would normally ... . When you hear the noise, it's saying pennies, pennies. It's making money for the community all the time."

Gigha's windfarm is a pioneering project nominated for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy to be presented at the Royal Geographical Society in London tonight.

The scheme, developed with Argyll-based company ALIenergy, may soon be copied in the Inner Hebrides, on Mull, Islay and Tiree. The firm plans to make Argyll the UK's first area totally renewable-powered within five years.

"The Gigha community bought the turbines secondhand from a windfarm in Cumbria which was upgrading to larger machines," said Steve Watson, an ALIenergy manager. "They generate at least £60,000 for the community, by selling electricity into the national grid.

"The windmills belong to the community and the income pays off the debt of the purchase cost and creates a sinking fund to purchase new turbines when these come to the end of their working life. The most important thing is that the 'Dancing Ladies' ... belong to the islanders."

Gigha, which covers 1,300 hectares (3,400 acres) was purchased by the 140-strong community who live there for £4m in 2002. The windfarm began to operate last December.

Mr. McSporran, who was awarded an MBE for his work in organising the buy-out, believes renewable energy is the only alternative. "Billions of years from now they will still be dealing with the consequences of nuclear reactors," he said.

"When it's flat calm there's obviously no electricity generated ... and if the wind speeds goes above 55mph they have to turn it off. But otherwise it keeps ... generating money for the community." Other projects shortlisted for the award include, Swift Turbines, makers of machines capable of producing up to 80% of ahousehold's electricity; South Somerset Hydropower Group; and Second Nature, makers of high-quality insulation.