Environmental Engineering Reference
megawatts by 2010. Denmark receives 10% of its power from wind energy
with an installed capacity of 1,700-MW. Germany is not far behind and is
the wind sector's fastest growing market.
Wind power in the U.S. has not received this level of support. Every
two years, a fight in congress erupts on the renewal of an important wind
power tax credit. Similar battles occur in state legislatures that have wind
power tax credits. According to U.S. energy officials, wind power could
provide 5% of the nation's electric power by 2020, compared to the current
Wind power has been slowed by public opposition. In 2002, a citi-
zen's group in Prince Edward County, Ontario, vetoed a small windfarm
project on the coast of Lake Ontario near Hillier. They proposed that the
22 proposed wind turbines would be noisy, kill birds and harm the neigh-
borhood by being too visible. These are common complaints about wind-
farms, but at a distance of about 200 meters, the sound of a windfarm is
faint. At closer distances the noise is similar to the sound of an airplane's
engine from inside the cabin. Even under the spinning blades it is possible
to converse in a normal voice. One Dutch study showed that a small wind-
farm is less harmful to birds than 1-kilometer of road or powerlines.
The U.K. has the best wind resources in Europe, but attempts to set
up wind farms were stopped when local authorities failed to issue permits
for turbine construction. The national government had no guidelines and
policies allowing local authorities to cooperate.
In India and China, wind power can provide broad areas of the rural
population that are without electricity. Wind investment plans are being
offered to these countries by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
India has almost 850-MW of installed capacity and is first among the de-
veloping countries and fourth in the world after Germany in wind power.
About 600 wind turbines are producing 260-MW in China. New Zealand
has its Tararua Wind Farm which is the largest in the southern hemisphere
with a capacity of 12-MW. In North Africa, Morocco recently installed 50-
MW and Egypt 30-MW. Wind power could provide at least 20% of every
continent's energy needs. There is enough wind to provide twice the ex-
pected global power demand for 2020.
If 10% of energy needs were met by wind power, there would be
about 10 billion tons less of worldwide carbon emissions out of a world
total of 60 to 70 billion tons. To achieve this, 120 times more wind capacity
Initial investments are high, but operation and maintenance costs