If you?ve driven up from Oklahoma City, or across I-70 in western Kansas, or even through Burlington, you?ve surely noticed the fields of wind turbines. It makes for quite a sight. But wind turbines don?t just create a scenic view for drivers, of course; they are harvesting wind energy and converting it into the electrical energy that helps keep our lights on.
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing energy industries. Wind farms are cropping up all around the world, including right here in Allen County! The largest wind farm in the world is in China. The second largest in India, and the largest in the United States is in California. You can see a wonderful map of wind farms in the United States on the U.S. Department of Geology?s U.S. Wind Turbine Database.
Wind energy is a clean source of energy which does not produce carbon dioxide, one of the prime contributors of global warming. Wind energy still only contributes less than 5% of the total energy production in the United States, but it is expected to grow to 20% by 2030.