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The Green Issue

Something's blowing

Wind energy
October 10, 2010

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You know wind energy is clean yet controversial (thanks, Cape Wind). But do you know its potential?

85,000 Approximate number of people nationwide employed in the wind industry.

6.5 meters per second Minimum annual average wind speed needed for wind projects.

19 Rank of Maine for its wind energy potential – the only New England state in the top 20. North Dakota is number one, followed by Texas.

1 Rank of Germany in nations with the most installed wind power, even though its wind energy potential is just a fraction of North Dakota’s.

105 Number of educational programs across the country that offer a certificate, degree, or course work in wind energy.

True Is wind energy a form of solar energy? The heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the earth’s rotation, and the earth’s surface irregularities all create wind.

36 Number of states that have commercial wind energy systems.

19 Number of existing wind energy projects in Massachusetts, ranging from the Wachusett Mountain wind farm in Princeton to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 in Dorchester.

Sources: map: National Renewable Energy Laboratory with data from AWS Truepower; Wind speed, solar energy, and Commercial systems: US Department of Energy; Employment, Germany, education, and massachusetts projects: American Wind Energy Association; Maine: Pacific Northwest Laboratory