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Archive for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wind energy can help reduce oil dependancy

January 20, 2009

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Editor's note: Today's letters to the editor are from Southwest Junior High students learning about persuasive writing.

To the editor:

If we are going to conquer our dependency on oil we will need to find alternatives to the problem at hand. Wind energy is one of several alternatives to our dilemma.

Unlike some of the others, wind is something that won’t run out. Conventional electrical-producing methods use coal as a source of fuel.

Wind energy is not only cost-effective, it produces zero pollution. Today’s wind turbines are available in large quantities and can provide energy through even the peak of the hottest summer. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the largest wind turbines can produce up to 4 million kilowatts of energy annually. Wind projects produce only about 1 percent of the U.S. energy supply, but if we try to build more wind farms we can produce up to 20 percent of the U.S. energy supply according to NREL.

Wind farms could revitalize the economy of rural towns with a steady stream of income from leases or royalty payments to farmers and other land owners based on Trade Wind Energy’s reports. In open flat terrain, a wind farm takes up about 50 acres per megawatt of installed capacity, but only 1 to 2 percent of this area is taken up by the turbines, and roads used to get to the turbines. The rest of the space is used for farming. Wind farms are good for the environment because they produce zero waste for the landfill and zero emissions.

Thomas Irick,

Southwest Junior High

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