Wind energy is still cleanest resource out there

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: General |

From an editorial in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin has a vast, largely untapped resource and disagreements about how to tap that resource. A bill making its way to the state Senate could help resolve some of those disputes.

The resource is wind, which rushes across the Niagara Escarpment with a fury that produces a viable source of electricity. Hundreds of wind turbines are being constructed along the escarpment, and several alarmed communities have been throwing up roadblocks to slow or halt their development.

Senate Bill 185 would require the state Public Service Commission to develop a standardized set of rules to replace what is now a confusing patchwork of state laws and municipal ordinances. A community could establish its own set of rules as long as they are not more restrictive than the PSC regulations.

And citizens unhappy with the actions of their municipality could appeal to the PSC.

Wind energy is considered a sustainable, renewable resource, but the turbines create their own set of objections. The whirling blades have been known to knock flying birds out of the sky, and some people consider the proliferation of windmills along the escarpment an eyesore.

However, we have built our society around the use of electricity. The traditional sources of this energy — coal, oil and other fossil fuels — inject a lot more mess into the environment than wind turbines. An alternative to burning carbon is nuclear energy, which has its own set of objections and opponents.


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