12 November 2003
Wind power gaining strength
It is not a huge movement right now, but using energy from wind is gaining more traction in the U.S. as well as Europe.
Take a look at Mohawk Paper Mills in Cohoes, N.Y. The mill, located near the banks of the Hudson River, began purchasing nonpolluting wind power, making it the first paper mill in the U.S. to use wind power for manufacturing operations. Wind turbines are a fast growing and cost-effective renewable energy technology, producing electricity with zero fuel and zero pollution.
Mohawk purchases wind energy from Community Energy, Inc., a marketer of emission-free wind energy in the eastern U.S. The wind energy for the Cohoes facility will come from New York state's largest wind farm near Syracuse. The project uses state-of-the-art 1.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbines.
The wind turbine power Mohawk is using translates into 4 million kilowatt hours of power, enough for 12,000 tons of paper production. Community Energy officials said this move will help remove more than 6.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air—the equivalent of taking more than 300 cars off the road each year.
Wind energy is a clean source of electricity produced when specially designed turbines capture the wind to generate electricity. Wind is a natural, inexhaustible source of energy using no fuel and creating no pollution.
Wind plants use large blades to catch the wind, turn a shaft, and generate electricity. Just as fossil-fueled plants use steam or combustion gases to turn electricity-powered rotors, wind plants use many wind turbines, often assembled on a large singe wind site called a wind farm, to produce electricity.
The U.S. is not the only region to look at wind energy, as Germany is seeing wind overtake water as the most important sustainable source of electricity.
Just around one hundred twenty years ago, Germany commissioned the first hydroelectric plants, and water was the most important green source of electricity in Germany. However, this year, wind blew away water as the most important sustainable source of electricity. At the end of September this year, there were 14,467 wind turbines with a capacity of 13,404 MW installed in Germany. This year's wind-based electricity generation in Germany should reach about 25 billion kilowatt hours—or for the first time more than the hydroelectric plants can achieve.
For more information on this subject go to www.isa.org/environmental.
Wind energy in Germany
|Year||New installed||Total accumulated capacity|
|1989||9 MW||9 MW|
|1990||25 MW||34 MW|
|1991||35 MW||69 MW|
|1992||74 MW||143 MW|
|1993||151 MW||294 MW|
|1994||309 MW||603 MW|
|1995||504 MW||1,107 MW|
|1996||428 MW||1,535 MW|
|1997||534 MW||2,069 MW|
|1998||793 MW||2,862 MW|
|1999||1,568 MW||4,430 MW|
|2000||1,665 MW||6,095 MW|
|2001||2,659 MW||8,754 MW|
|2002||3,247 MW||12,001 MW|
|2003*||2,500 MW||14,501 MW|
Source: BWE/VDI N
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