Every day the United States uses massive amounts of energy. Only about 8% of the United States’ energy needs are met by renewable energy sources. That means that eventually 92% of the nation’s energy resources will run out. Recently this problem has been brought into the public’s eye and the American people’s attention has shifted to renewable and “green” energy resources. President Jimmy Carter (1977) said that “[w]ith the exception of preventing war, this (the energy crisis) is the greatest challenge our country will face during our life time” (p. 418). There are many proposed solutions to this problem and wind and solar energy are just two renewable energy sources that could be used. North and South Dakota along with Texas have enough wind energy potential to power the entire United States, and a 140 mile x 140 mile plot of land covered in solar panels would also be able to meet this need single-handedly. (Hinrichs & Kleinbach, 2005) Both wind farms and solar panels take naturally occurring phenomenon and create electricity from it. Photovoltaic (solar) energy is electrical energy that is created using the sun’s rays. The prefix photo- means light, while voltaic means electrical. Wind energy works in much the same way. Huge wind turbines harness energy from the wind and then convert it into useable electrical energy. Both energy sources could be viable options in the future but as of now wind energy is a much better choice than solar, solar is more versatile, more efficient, and far cheaper than photovoltaic technology.
Many countries see renewable energy as the future and have made plans to foster its use. It is estimated that wind will provide 5 to 10% of the United States power needs by the year 2020, and the Euro...
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... array. The average price per kilowatt from an industrial size photovoltaic array is about 3,000 dollars (Messenger & Goswami, 2007), while the average price for a wind turbine can be as low as 1,000 dollars (Hinrichs & Kleinbach, 2005).
Wind is the fastest growing renewable source of energy in the world today. The prices for using wind farms are constantly falling and the demand for energy is always rising. Wind turbines have much higher efficiency percentages than solar arrays. The price per kilowatt of a wind farm is also much lower than that of a solar array; it is almost a third less. Building a wind farm takes much less time than a fossil fuel factory, and they can easily be modified to fit the needs of the area. In the race for renewable energy wind turbines are an economical, comparatively simple, and efficient way to harvest energy that will never run out.
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