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Local man envisions small turbines taking wind power to the peoplehttp://local.lancasteronline.com/4/206643Wind may carry jobs to N.C.http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/632077.htmlCape Wind: America's First Offshore Wind Farm on Nantucket Sound [pdf]http://www.capewind.org/Save our Sound [pdf]http://www.saveoursound.org/EERE: Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program [pdf]http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/In Europe, wind power has been a viable alternative energy source for several decades, and environmentalists, "green" capitalists, and others are jumping on the wind farm bandwagon in significant numbers. Some remain skeptical of wind farms and their ilk, and certain parties have protested the creation of additional wind farms on the grounds that they are dangerous to migratory birds and others argue that they have a deleterious effect on property values and the aesthetic appearances of certain unique natural areas. Despite all of the new advances in technology, efforts to build more wind farms in the United States are now hampered by another rather pragmatic issue: There just aren't enough windmill parts. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that there remains a worldwide shortage of wind turbines and related devices, and as a result, a number of new wind-power projects in the US are relying on European companies to secure the necessary parts. Wind turbines are tremendously complicated devices, and they often contain more than 8000 components. Despite this dearth of materials, the future of wind power utilities continues to look bright throughout the United States, and Xavier Viteri (who happens to be the head of a Spanish utility) recently remarked that wind energy in the US "is like Europe was years ago. There's a lot of room for development there, and there is a lot of expertise here."The first link leads to the Wall Street Journal article mentioned above from this past Monday. The piece also offers a brief overview of major wind power initiatives in Europe. The second link will take users to a news article from the Lancaster New Era which talks about one Pennsylvanian's efforts to bring wind power to individual property owners in that part of the state. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece of reporting from The Charlotte Observer. The piece observes that while wind turbines are difficult to build in North Carolina, local residents may benefit from turbine manufacturing plants which will soon open up nearby. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the Cape Wind Company, which is hoping to open up a major wind farm many miles off the coast of Cape Cod in the future. On the other side of the debate sits the fifth site, which happens to be the homepage of the Save Our Sound group, which opposes these plans. The last link will take users to the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program site. Here, visitors can learn about the technology behind both wind energy and hydropower, and they can also read up on the federal government's efforts to encourage research and development in these areas.

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  • Social Studies > General

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