North America Wind Power Recent Headlines – February 2011
The history of wind power and our efforts to harness it's energy go back to the earliest days of sails for boats and wind powered machines including irrigation pumps in use over 2,000 years ago. Windmills were use extensively in Denmark in the early 1900s. Examples of wind powering America go back to our earliest days.
There can be little doubt that Energy Independence is a major threat to our security and that our lack of that independence plays a major role in our foreign policy strategic thinking. Wind and solar are the only renewable energy sources that meet all 6 Degrees of Energy Excellence. Wind, solar, biomass, and nuclear power have to be major players in the solution set that will win our energy independence back over the next few decades.
Leaders of both parties have talked about dependence on imported oil since 1973, when OPEC enacted an oil embargo in response to U.S. support for Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. That embargo led to long lines at U.S. gas pumps. It’s a recurring story: when the price of oil goes up, we look for alternatives, then the price of oil goes down and everything stops. Only recently has the USA started making serious investments in solving our energy dependence on foreign oil.
In 1973, when President Richard Nixon unveiled his Energy Independence campaign, the United States imported 30 percent of its oil. Now it imports more than double that percentage, and Americans consume about 20 million barrels of oil a day. The United States imports 6 million barrels of crude oil per day from OPEC nations.
Today, over 80 percent of world petroleum reserves are state-owned — controlled by countries that have the power to manipulate supply and price with impunity — this fact goes directly to the heart of energy security. It’s a hard reality that every time we fill up with gas at the pump, some of that money goes to fund a terrorist group or dictator somewhere in the world.
“The most direct way to reduce our dependency on foreign oil is to simply use less of it, starting with the cars and trucks we drive. Nearly 70 percent of our oil use is for transportation, and more than 65 percent of that amount is for personal vehicles. Energy independence means changing how we power our cars and trucks from foreign oil to new American-made fuels and electric vehicles with power generated by wind, solar, and nuclear. The time to invest in Wind technology is now!
Nobel physicist Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy says “We will continue to need high-energy-density fuels for years to come. But we can develop new liquid biofuels that will be direct replacements for gasoline and diesel fuel.” It is estimated we can use biomass to replace over 30 percent of our transportation fuels. At that level, the importance of oil as a strategic resource will plummet.
U.S. Electric Utility Companies responded to the threat of the 1973 Arab oil embargo by replacing petroleum fuel oil with USA coal, nuclear energy and natural gas to power their generators. The USA no longer depends on petroleum to generate electricity for the power grid.
Southwest Wind Power is paving the way for the rest of the country to pick up the banner.Google just invested over $200 million in the 161 megawatt Spinning Spur Wind Project; Texas wind power is leading our push for energy independence. Wind power in the US is on the move and getting investment from beyond just the government. Google has now invested over #1 billion in green energy investment on 10 projects. "Wind Powering America" should be one of their new slogans.
The USA is not have to be dependent on foreign sources of energy for electricity generation. To do the same for all our transportation needs, communities, states, and national governments must invest in wind power turbines and solar technology. We have to build them now so we can learn the lessons to propel us forward.
The U.S. Automobile industry must do today what the U.S. Electric Utility industry did over 35 years ago — Kick the oil habit!
Electricity powered by wind, solar, and nuclear power offers the long term solution to kick the energy habit. In the near term, the next 30 to 50 years, biofuels, natural gas, and synthetic fuels will bridge the gap as we wean ourselves off foreign oil, and eventually off oil entirely.
Do we have to be “Independent”, or will Interdependence be good enough?
There is nothing inherently wrong with “energy interdependence” in regard to importing oil, but there are two long term fundamental flaws in that strategy. First, we always need to ask: where is the oil money going? Is that destination supporting our economy in other ways, helping support our democratic aspirations for the world? The answer today is no in most cases.
OPEC sets the global price of oil. In 2008, OPEC oil revenue was over one trillion dollars, money from Europe, Asia, and the Americas that flowed into the Middle East. Even in a deep recession, that number will be over $800 billion in 2011.
American Energy Independence will create hundreds of billions of dollars in new wealth resulting in new jobs and economic stimulus not seen since the World War II civilian work force mobilized behind the war effort. Today mid-scale wind turbine design and manufacturing has a “made in the USA” label. Foreign companies dominate the large wind farm market but the mid-scale wind market can be a big contributor to an economic stimulus.
Under the leadership of the USA, the entire world can become less oil dependent. Development of alternative fuels on a large scale will create a seismic shift within the economic foundation of the world. This shift will be positive for the United States and positive for the stability of the world.
“At a time of such great challenge for America, no single issue is as fundamental to our future as energy. America's dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced. It bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation, and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism. It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation and sets back our ability to compete.”
—Address given at the White House January 26, 2009
Why is energy a national security issue?
“Our entire economy depends on the expectation that energy will be plentiful, available, and affordable. Nations like Venezuela and Iran can use oil and gas as political and economic weapons by manipulating the marketplace. Half of our trade deficit goes toward buying oil from abroad, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorists.”
General James Jones is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general and National Security Advisor to the President on January 20, 2009.
Try to imagine what would have happened if Europe and America had been paying the Soviet Union one Trillion U.S. dollars every year, during the cold war.
Next time you buy gasoline or diesel, ask yourself the following questions:
Energy and environmental issues have similar requirements for resource sustainability and minimizing environmental pollution, but in general, energy independence and environmental issues are really two different issues and it’s essential that Americans come to understand the priority. Climate change is a longer term issue that has to be solved for the world to both grow and sustain even better lives. In contrast, global oil dependence is an immediate threat to our survival. A great analogy is that the threat of global warming is like the threat of cancer from smoking vs. the threat of terrorism which is more like a coiled rattlesnake just ahead in your path on a summer walk in the woods.
Both are real threats; however the urgency of Energy independence mandates more immediate and stronger action now. Investing in mid-scale wind energy technology development, funding mid-scale wind projects, and communities getting behind these projects are all vital to our future national security.contact us to get your questions answered and to get the full details and benefits of wind power and the EcoVert line of wind turbines.