Creation Care merges faith with proactive solutions to protect God’s creation. Next week, the season of Lent begins for millions of faithful people around the world. To mirror the 40 days of Lent, here are 40 churches, religious schools and faith-based organizations around the world that are putting their faith to work by promoting wind energy.
Wind turbines and sailboats share many commonalities. Both are super advanced, highly popular and lovable, low cost and protective of the environment, but do you know all of the 19 1/2 ways wind turbines and sailboats are similar?
The Department of Energy just announced a $2 million funding opportunity for taller wind turbines, which is big news for everyone in the South. Not only could the funding go to a Southern business, but also the research to accompany the funding announcement shows a giant resource potential in the South that has been previously largely unknown.
Weiss Lake (located in Cherokee and Etowah Counties, Alabama) has the noble distinction of “Crappie Fishing Capital of the World” and is the lifeblood of Northeast Alabama’s tourism. The lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s as Alabama Power developed a hydroelectric dam on the Coosa River. Several organizations have developed in an effort to improve and protect Weiss Lake and the surrounding watershed. Wind farms may provide a new opportunity to advance those protection efforts. Wind farms use modern technology for electric generation, emit no air pollution and consume no water, and at the same time, offer local communities economic development that can spur reinvestment into local programs and infrastructure; key factors that make wind energy a clean power resource and a new tool to help save Weiss Lake.
Newly updated research shows that Alabama is still high on the list of states with coal plants that may be more expensive to maintain than to replace with cleaner sources, as we noted in an earlier blog. The report, an update of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ripe for Retirement using 2012 numbers (the most [...]
Wind turbines across the country have become tourist attractions, just like their old windmill predecessors. Some people go out of their way to find wind farms, snap pictures and get a glimpse of homegrown American clean energy. This shouldn’t be a surprise. A new Navigant study found that ten times as many Americans have positive attitudes towards wind energy than those that have negative attitudes.
Additionally, the few American studies completed regarding wind farm tourism – including those completed by Clemson University and University of Delaware – suggest that wind farms can boost tourism and that tourists tend be supportive of wind farms near their recreation areas. Meanwhile, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that wind farms support a cottage tourism industry.
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a little-known federal incentive to promote economic development from the private wind industry here in the United States. Wind farms have been slow to develop here in the Southeast, but the region already benefits from the PTC.
To kill the Alabama’s first two wind farms, a small number of local residents is suing Pioneer Green Energy through two separate but very similar lawsuits. While these foes exhibit just about every tell-tale sign of wind farm opposition, they now appear to be borrowing a tactic from high school: plagiarism. Indeed, the lawsuit (which is available online here) mirrors a 2005 lawsuit from Texas where a small number of residents there sued to block a wind farm (text of that lawsuit is available here). By 2008, that Texas lawsuit proved to be a losing strategy on four separate occasions – in front of a trial judge, a trial by jury, by an appeals court and by the Texas Supreme Court through its refusal to reject the lower courts’ decisions. Just like in high school, the consequence of plagiarism is failure and history suggests the plagiarized Alabama lawsuits won’t make the grade.
A study in Energy Policy, found that fossil fueled power plants, on a per unit of energy basis, are estimated to kill 17 times more birds than wind energy. So for every megawatt hour of electricity from a wind farm that replaces fossil fuels, seventeen times as many birds may be saved.
Alabama has become a hotbed of wind energy activity. At least four different wind farms have been proposed across the Yellowhammer State – from upstate, mid-state and downstate Alabama. Alabama Power is buying 404 megawatts of wind energy from the Plains (enough to supply 3% of the company’s power), and the state’s biggest power company just erected a tiny 4 kilowatt turbine on their headquarters building in Birmingham. The flurry of activity has some people asking, “Why?” Here’s just a few reasons that may help explain the interest. State electric costs are high. The wind is better than estimated. Alabama’s Pro-Business. Wind turbines have dramatically improved. Wind energy costs are predictable.