Wind energy is the fastest growing clean, renewable energy resource that is increasingly cost competitive with conventional energy resources, such as natural gas. Wind energy technologies are available in a variety of scales, making them suitable for single, residential installations to utility scale wind farms and most applications in between.
Assessing the feasibility of wind in your community is the first step to determining whether or not to pursue this clean energy option. Wind maps are available, often from a state energy office or wind working group
that identifies areas of high wind potential. If wind proves to be a viable resource, then a community may wish to consider supporting wind development to capture the economic, environmental, and even educational benefits.
Wind energy has very little of the economic, environmental, and health costs associated with fossil-fueled electricity generation. Community-scale wind energy can serve as a revenue source by enabling the land or facility owner to generate lease payments or revenues from the sale of clean electricity. The wind industry is served by a variety of businesses and can serve as a market for many small and medium-sized companies. Finally, wind turbines are powerful visual symbols and can serve as an educational tool for students and the general public.
Moderate to significant effort is required. Careful assessment of the wind resources in your specific location is essential to ensuring that wind energy projects are cost effective. Utility involvement and interconnection is often required. Step-by-step guidance is available via resources listed in Related Resources.
Wind energy is a clean energy resource. In many parts of the country, wind energy is cost competitive or less expensive than comparable fossil fuel generation. Wind energy involves capital and maintenance but zero fuel costs. Adoption of wind energy technologies can create “green” jobs and support a local wind energy industry.
Wind patterns vary throughout the country and may not be available in your location. Zoning and permitting restrictions may exist. Community opposition may inhibit the adoption of wind energy in certain locations. Competing land uses, such as wildlife protection, recreation, and scenic interests may exist in some locations. Wind energy production can be intermittent depending on conditions.
Planning and zoning officials, sustainability officers, local utilities, wind energy industry, landowners.
Wind energy may involve upfront costs associated with assessment of the wind energy resource, as well as staff time to assess, evaluate and address regulatory barriers. There may be additional costs to educate and engage community stakeholder
Any party with an interest in an initiative.Energy that comes from sources that are not depleted by use. Examples include energy from the sun, wind, and small (low-impact) hydropower, plus geothermal energy and wave and tidal systems.Electricity generated by wind turbines.The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.