CRESTON, Neb. — The midday sun pushed temperatures past the 70-degree mark late last week while the fifth and sixth generations of the Brockhaus family gathered the last 20 acres of the fall harvest near here. Brothers Terry and Steve Brockhaus, along with Steve’s sons Jeff and Jon, typically reap corn from these fields, but as a slight westerly breeze picked up, Steve Brockhaus looked southward over the last remaining rows of the 2016 corn crop to the purveyors of their newest cash crop: four 1.7-megawatt General Electric wind turbines. “I’m surprised on days like today when it seems like there’s hardly any wind on the ground and they’re still turning,” Steve Brockhaus said. Read more here.
The wind industry has always taken big steps to reduce its environmental impacts on wildlife, and in particular, bats. In addition to extensive environmental studies and siting procedures, the wind industry has also created the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, in an effort to reduce impacts on bats in the vicinity of certain mountaintop wind facilities. In 2015, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced new voluntary best practices that would reduce impacts on bats by 30%. Click through to read more Continue reading
Protecting America’s wildlife is one of my deepest passions; it’s a big part of why I’ve devoted my career to safeguarding our nation’s natural heritage. President Nixon once correctly pointed out that “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed”. No species is more emblematic of America than the bald eagle. Once facing extinction, these magnificent birds have rebounded nicely, thanks in large part to protective laws like the Endangered Species Act and a ban on the pesticide DDT. Seeing a bald eagle is much easier today than it used to be. In fact, there is a nesting pair just down the street from my home. Despite this good news, a number of looming threats could reverse our progress. According to scientists, one of the largest threats to eagles—and many other species of wildlife—is climate change. The Audubon Society says that over 300 different bird species, including eagles, are at risk because of rising temperatures, which could cause them to lose up to half of their ranges by 2080. Read more here.
Wildlife advocates support wind power Scientists tell us that our wildlife, from the tiniest pollinators to the largest mammals, are facing an unprecedented threat from climate change. Pollution is altering our climate much too quickly for wildlife to adapt. We are in real danger of losing many of the animal and plant species we enjoy and depend on. The good news is that we have technology available today to reduce that pollution – and electricity rates – by using cleaner sources of energy. One of the best ways to reduce climate pollution is wind power. As an emission-free electricity source, wind directly combats climate change. In 2015, wind reduced the equivalent of over 28 million cars’ worth of carbon pollution. Greater savings will be seen as wind generates even more of America’s electricity. By 2030, it could eliminate up to 20 percent of the electric sector’s carbon emissions. By 2050, wind could save $400 billion worth of climate change damage. Continue reading
"The truth is, thousands of eagles die every year for a variety of reasons — most from natural causes. The vast majority of human-caused deaths result from intentional poisoning and shooting — federal crimes that we aggressively investigate and prosecute. Most other eagle deaths are caused by collisions - with cars, buildings, power lines and other structures. Wind energy facilities represent a fraction of these deaths, and the media’s singular focus on wind turbines is a gross distortion of the truth." - Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Read more here.
That's right, $128 billion! Not to mention an average of $13 billion per year for the past five years alone. The American Wind Energy Assocation (AWEA) released the data last week. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, "Over this time, wind has rapidly scaled up. There's now enough wind power installed to reliably produce electricity for over 19 million American homes." There were more records broken last year by wind energy, including capacity installed. Click through to read more Continue reading
MidAmerican Energy posted this informative and cool video that shows a turbine being constructed from beginning to end. The video includes interesting facts about the individual parts of the turbine (such as the nacelle being the size of a school bus!) and how long it takes to assemble.Check out the video below! MidAmerican Turbine Construction
You can find the full report here. The DOE’s new Wind Vision Report explores our nation’s potential to increase its energy production from wind power. According to the report, America’s wind power capacity has tripled since the 2008 release of the Energy Department’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, making it more clear than ever that it will be possible for the U.S. to generate a significant portion of its power from land-based, offshore and distributed wind facilities by 2030. The report outlines numerous benefits the U.S. will receive from increasing our domestic production of wind energy, including reduced pollution, increased domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability, and increased community revenues. Continue reading