Wind is generating a great deal of attention these days. I’m talking about wind power that occurs naturally in the atmosphere that is then converted into mechanical energy and then into electricity.
While wind power is not new, people started using windmills centuries ago to generate power, it’s experiencing a resurgence for a variety of reasons. First wind turbines are a renewable energy source, which means no additional greenhouse gases are being emitted into the environment. The resource is also widely available, especially throughout the U.S., which means more states are looking closely at increasing the number of wind farms to generate clean energy.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), there are 46,000 operating wind turbines across the 39 states as well as Puerto Rico, representing 61,110 megawatts (MW). That’s enough to power over 15.5 million homes. The AWEA also noted that the U.S. gets 4.1 percent of its electricity from wind overall, and certain states generate much more than that.
In fact, the state of Maryland (the home state of our Baltimore-based corporate headquarters) is poised to benefit greatly from increased wind energy. According to a new study by Environment Maryland, scaling up wind energy can save the state 8 million megatron of carbon pollution, that’s roughly the equivalent of two coal fired power plants. The Environment Maryland study backs other reports, which find the greatest return on wind energy will be found off the state’s coast.
Another new study from South Dakota State University suggests that wind farms are a welcome boon for struggling rural communities. This is true for many rural Midwestern communities that often are confronted with dwindling populations and revenues. Take a look at this recent article in Midwest Energy News to read more about the study.
Here at Williams Scotsman, we work with many companies that are servicing the wind energy generation industry. In fact, in February of next year, I will be speaking at the Energy, Utility and Environment Conference (EUEC) to discuss how energy companies can work green while generating clean renewable energy.
About the Author
Paul Raiford, Director of Energy Services, Williams Scotsman