Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wind power's other benefit

On September 30, 2005, this report indicated that there is enough offshore wind power within 50 miles of the coasts of America to meet its current electrical energy needs.

A mere nine months later, new developments in wind power technology are occurring around the world at a (happily) dizzying pace. Within the last few weeks alone:

Most of the focus is on how wind power is emerging as a truly viable source of alternative energy. But there's another benefit that we'll hear more about over the next few years: wind power is injecting new economic opportunities into communities. Take this Seattle Times story ("Wind power generates a new cash crop in state"), which discusses the construction of a large wind power farm in a rural community in southern Washington state.
Wind power is arriving in Bickleton at a time when local farming is in serious decline. Founded more than a century ago, this town of about 90 people prospered for decades as grasslands were turned into wheat fields. There once was a bank, meat market, hotel and theater. All are long gone.

Wind power can reverse this type of economic decline, which is a common scenario across rural America, by providing a steady stream of income. As Wall street continues to take note of the growing wind power industry (wind power output has quadrupled in the past seven years, according to this article that appeared today in, we're bound to see this trend continue.