The Herald Bulletin

December 8, 2012

Letter: Potential of wind power is amazing


— In response to The Herald Bulletin’s editorial on wind power (Dec. 1), while the editorial staff did get a number of things right about its benefits (wind is good for our economy and environment), there were some misunderstandings that need to be cleared up.

Technological advances have lowered the cost of wind power by more than 90 percent. Wind energy now powers the equivalent of over 12 million American homes, fosters economic development in all 50 states, attracts over $15 billion in private investment in the U.S. annually, and supports 75,000 American jobs.

America’s wind power potential is nothing short of amazing: 37 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually — equivalent to nearly 10 times the country’s power needs — in onshore wind resources alone, and still more in offshore waters.

And in August, the U.S. wind industry hit 50,000 MW of cumulative wind capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 13 million homes. Earlier in the year, the industry passed another milestone, having generated as much electricity cumulatively as could be generated by burning 1 billion barrels of oil — without using any fuel.

And many believe wind turbines to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful to marvel at in the country landscape, and studies have confirmed that wind energy development has no negative effect on nearby property values. In fact, wind energy development brings vital economic activity to rural areas, creating jobs, providing payments to landowners and generating tax revenue. As the editorial noted, wind energy is a win-win for America’s economy and environment.

Michael Goggin, manager of transmission policy

American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.