6. Wind power

Figure 6.1 Under a hazy sun, a pair of pronghorn antelope graze in a west Texas field as wind turbines generate electricity in the background. iStockphoto.com/chsfoto)1

image

Key facts

• Wind is the cheapest alternative energy source. Electricity from wind energy costs between 4.5 cents and 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, making it cost-competitive with fossil fuels.

• The windiest 20 states have enough wind energy to potentially provide one-third to one-half of the total U.S. energy use, and all of its electricity, now and in the next 40 years.

• Today’s wind turbine is as tall as a 22-story building and generates enough electricity ...

Get Powering the Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.