MagazineJune 2008A Windy Future

A Windy Future

Wind energy can replace 20 percent of America’s electricity needs by 2030 at a “moderate” cost, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy report. Investing in a wind infrastructure would cost 2% more than continuing to rely on fossil fuels but would be less expensive to maintain in the long run.

We would need to triple the current rate of wind energy installation to meet this 20% goal, but the growth would replace 18% of the coal and 50% of the natural gas we currently use while creating 500,000 new jobs.

More importantly, a significant increase in electricity storage is not needed to meet that 20% goal, according to the DOE report. If this recommended investment in wind is made, the energy shift would eliminate 7.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and cancel out the projected increase in emissions from U.S. power plants.

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