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Wind. Air moving energetically across the face of the Earth.
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Written by Harry Fuller on

Wind. Air moving energetically across the face of the Earth. Air moving sailing ships, turning windmills, forming sand into dunes, snow into drifts. Now it's wind as source of electricity. Needless to say green tech uses of wind are far advanced in countries other than in the U.S where oil and coal still rule.

In the North Sea a combinaton of German engineering plus Canadian and Scottish ingenuity and experience have erected two gigantic windmills to generate electricity. Fifteen miles from land the two wind turbines stand three hundred feet above the sea level. The two turbines are already connected to the United Kingdom's electricity grid and the owners propose building 200 of them with 200-foot blades.

Meanwhile Australia seems now to have permananet drought, so New South Wales is going to build a desalinization plant. Maybe they should build one in Savannah, Georgia? And to power that plant in Australia, which needs lots of electricity, they want to use wind power.

Up in Minnesota where the wind blows mainly from the plains, there's an Indian company making turbines for the beknighted, windblown prairie dwellers. I find that bitterly ironic as the earliest European settlers on the Great Plains almost universally turned to windmills for power. Another prairie state is getting help from the feds to make some modest steps toward using all that wwwwwwind. Kansas is getting small wind generators for some of its schools. None of them have two hundred foot blades, or course. That might make the local utility company a little uneasy.

As with solar, there's a lot of grassroots, homeowner and small business interest in wind in the areas where air moves constantly. Here's just one example of a seminar on how to use small-time turbines. This one happens to be in New England's gorgeous Berkshire Mountains. Did I tell you about the summer job in Becket I had one college vacation ....

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