Did You Know?

  • The power available from wind increases with the cube of the wind speed. This means that there is much more kinetic energy in windier areas and that a small increase in wind speed can mean a dramatically more attractive location for wind power development. For example, a 25% increase in wind speed (for instance, from an average of 12 to 15 mph) corresponds to about twice the wind power.

  • Wind energy is a form of solar energy. As the sun's energy deferentially heats different surfaces, such as water and land, it causes the atmosphere to warm deferentially. As hotter air rises, air is pulled from cooler locations to displace it, causing wind. Wind, as air in motion, has kinetic energy, which can be converted to other forms of energy that we can use.

  • You can save energy and money by installing insulation, maintaining and upgrading the equipment, and practicing energy-efficient behaviors. A two-degree adjustment to your thermostat setting (lower in winter, higher in summer) can lower heating bills by four percent and prevent 500 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. Programmable thermostats can automatically control temperature for time of day and season.

  • Appliances account for about 20 percent of a typical household’s energy use, with refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers at the top of the list. When shopping for new appliances, you should think of two price tags. The first one is the purchase price. The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You’ll be paying that second price tag on your utility bill every month for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance. Many energy efficient appliances cost more to buy, but save money in lower energy costs. Over the life of an appliance, an energy-efficient model is always a better deal.

  • Replacing an old refrigerator (18 years or older) with a new unit reduces electric usage by at least 35 percent. Because they are more efficient than standard models, ENERGY STAR® units will lower refrigeration energy usage even more – by over 45 percent. The average home has 2 televisions, a VCR, a DVD player and 3 telephones. If these items were replaced with ENERGY STAR qualified models, it would save more than 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road for a year. If every US household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified fluorescent bulb, it would save enough energy to light 7 million homes and save over $600 million in utility bills.

  • Efficiency and conservation are key components of energy sustainability––the concept that every generation should meet its energy needs without compromising the energy needs of future generations. Energy sustainability focuses on long-term energy strategies and policies that ensure adequate energy to meet today’s needs, as well as tomorrow’s. Sustainability also includes investing in research and development of advanced technologies for producing conventional energy sources, promoting the use of alternative energy sources, and encouraging sound environmental policies.

  • Only 10 percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb produces light; the rest is given off as heat. If you replace 25 percent of your light bulbs with fluorescents, you can save about 50 percent on your lighting bill. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide the same amount of light and no longer flicker or buzz. CFLs cost more to buy, but they save money in the long run because they use only one-quarter the energy of incandescent bulbs and last 8-12 times longer. Each CFL you install can save you $30 to $60 over the bulb’s life.

  • Most of the wind power plants in the world are located in Europe and in the United States where government programs have helped support wind power development. The United States ranks second in the world in wind power capacity, behind Germany and ahead of Spain and India. Denmark ranks number six in the world in wind power capacity but generates 20 percent of its electricity from wind.

  • As wind energy is governed by nature as wind speeds increase, turbine output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine produces more power than the house needs, the extra electricity is sold to the utility. All of this is done automatically. There are no batteries in a modern residential wind system.

  • Small wind generation systems with capacities of 100 kW or less are usually used to power farms, homes, and small businesses. Remote communities that would otherwise rely on diesel generators may use wind turbines to replace diesel fuel consumption. Home owners purchase residential wind generators to reduce or eliminate their electricity bills, or simply to generate their own clean power.

  • U.S. wind energy potential: Estimated at 10,777 billion kWh annually—more than twice the electricity generated in the U.S. today (Source: Pacific Northwest Laboratory).

  • Electricity generated from wind in the U.S : An estimated 48 billion kWh in 2008 (just over 1% of U.S. electricity supply), which is enough to serve the equivalent of 4.5 million average U.S. households. For every 1000 KwH produced by wind, 559 lbs of C02 stays out of our air.

  • As of 2003, wind power was the fastest growing form of electricity generation on a percentage basis in the U.S.
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