Wind Power Use Rises 39% In 2009

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The use of wind power in America rose 39% last year according to a report from American Wind Energy Association cited in The New York Times. “The amount of capacity added last year, 9,900 megawatts, was the largest on record,” the report says.

Wind power, along with solar power, are still far, far behind the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and it may remain that way for decades. There is enough oil in the ground to keep prices low, at least according to recent results from energy use forecast firms. Nuclear power, while considered dangerous by some, has an almost inexhaustible source of fuel to create electricity.

The Administration is trying to strengthen the financial position and viability of wind power by an investment in the national power grid that would improve thmoving energy from wind farms to large centers of energy use. But, some high-profile wind power generation have failed. Boone Pickens, one of wind power’s great advocates, has largely given up on his wind farm projects in East Texas. The economies of scale were not large enough to make the program profitable.

Wind power is threatened by the long cycle it must face, a cycle that requires oil prices to rise considerably. That process could take a decade of more, and that is too long a time for even the most faithful advocates of wind power to keep up their investment in the technology.

Douglas A. McIntyre