Deer season just recently opened here in Texas and as I’m sitting here in my deer blind in Central West Texas anticipating the monster buck of all time, I can’t help notice the spinning turbines and wind farms against the surrounding hilly landscape sprouting up everywhere on the horizon of the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau. Texas leads the nation in electricity production from the power of wind which accounts for almost 7% of its electricity generated is from this wind source and that number is growing at a rapid rate. Texas currently generates and has the capacity for over 10,000 Mega Watts and will double that by the year 2025.
Texas is not the only state in the country that’s aggressively installing wind farms to meet its overburdened power demands. Other states like Iowa, California and other mid-western and coastal states are generating a capacity of over 50,000 MW of power only second to China which produces a capacity of over 62,000 MW. Overall, only 3% of the nation’s electricity is produced by wind but the generation of renewable energy is 10% when you factor in solar, hydro and geothermal.
Wind has always been a main source of power for thousands of years. Sailing ships to move people and trade, windmills to pump water from the ground and grind grain. And then in the late 1800’s, wind was converted to electricity in a small Scottish village. Up until the 1930’s, wind was a main source of electricity especially in the rural areas. But as demand grew in the 1940’s wind capacity could not keep up with the growth of the global economy and was replaced by coal burning generators and eventually steam heated by a nuclear fuel source.
With the growing concern of global warming and climate change, we now look back to renewable energy sources. National programs such as the Clean Air Act, The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help reinvest back into our infrastructure to produce ‘green’ energy not only for our own energy but to reduce the dependence of foreign oil.
As we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, we must continue to rely and tap back into natural resources such as the wind, sun and water as it has been done for thousands of years before our present time. We must become responsible for the environment. Not to rely back on renewable energy would be irresponsible.
William J. Greene III, LEED® AP BD+C
Improving People’s Lives by Creating Better Communities