The sun heats up the earth everyday. You might be saying, “Yeah dudebro, obviously.” But I bring that up because many people do not understand that the sun’s heat is what causes wind. Wind exists when heat from the earth rises and cool air replaces the hot air. Therefore as long as the sun is burning, wind will be blowing somewhere.
Many people have begun to notice the potential that wind has to offer with regards to energy. T. Boone Pickens has a plan called the “Pickens Plan” that focuses heavily on incorporating wind power into our nation’s major energy plans. Picken’s website states that if the Great Plains were built out to its wind capacity, 138,000 jobs would be created within one year. Also, over 3.4 million jobs would be created over the next decade. I have witnessed first hand how Wind Energy can change a town’s economy within a short amount of time. Just a few years ago Sweetwater, TX was struggling economically and shrinking in population. However, the placement of several thousand wind turbines throughout the Sweetwater area has recently boosted the town’s economy tremendously and has attracted many new people through the added job opportunities. Increasing wind turbine production in this manner would not only create millions of jobs, but it would provide about 20% of the nation’s needed electricity.
Some argue that wind turbines do not look aesthetically appealing and that they endanger the environment by killing a number of birds. But I don’t even think hippies can complain about wind power when it “displaces 23 million tons of carbon dioxide each year” (pickensplan.com).
Some examples of plans already being acted upon include Austin Energy using power generated by wind turbines to charge hybrid car batteries overnight (see article). Also, there is a plan to boost Texas revenue by adding wind turbines 8 miles off the coast of Galveston. This 50-turbine wind farm will generate millions of dollars for Texas over a 30 year period.
Even though wind power would help out our energy shortage problems and clean up the environment by a large degree, there are many things that individuals could do to minimize the problem. For example, upgrading insulation in homes and businesses around the nation would save our nation the expense of about one million barrels of oil per day. Perhaps the government could put incentives in place to make these types of ideas more logical for people to carry out. Any ideas?
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