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America still participating in wind energy

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times had voiced worries if the United States was “sleeping” while China was making a “Great Leap Forward” in green energy technology.
That country’s leadership understood, he said last year, that the green energy revolution is a necessity in tackling climate change, and an opportunity for economic vitalization “they don’t intend to miss.”
Friedman was urging passage of energy legislation, then languishing in the U.S. Senate, so we not “cede this [green energy] industry to Beijing and the good jobs and energy security that go with it.”
In the Congress in the meantime, someone was arguing in a quite similar vein, urging the U.S. not be left behind in innovation and development of new-energy resources.
Representative Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), ranking member of an environment subcommittee, had been supportive of important legislative efforts toward reducing energy consumption, such as in buildings and vehicles, and greening energy sources, such as through a national renewable electricity standard.
While “we may just press the pause button here” he had warned, “China is pressing the fast-forward button, [is] innovating around these problems and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that will lead the 21st century.”
A study published in October by the Worldwatch Institute seems to agree, calling China “the new pacesetter in global clean energy development.”
That country in 2009 became the world’s largest producer of solar electric technology, and millions of homes there enjoy solar powered water heating.
Offshore and on land, large commercial as well as small-scale wind turbines have been going up at such pace that China now can boast having a third of the world’s installed capacity, surpassing the United States as the largest wind-power market, and now also being the largest turbine manufacturer, mostly for export.
There are strong signs of hope on our side, though; China may be “in” but America isn’t “out” just yet!
Within the space of one week last month, one could see 30 significant happenings in wind-power development, across 16 states, as noted in the WindBiz Weekly.
Some wind farms commenced operation, “delivering clean, renewable energy into the electric grid,” several firms secured contracts to begin construction or the planning for such, county planners or commissions here and there made fee or policy changes to facilitate wind energy projects.
From Pennsylvania and Maine, through Illinois, Wisconsin and other states in the nation’s heartland, to an Indian reservation in Colorado and big “windy” states like Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, the business of harnessing the wind for electric power is progressing well.
The State of Idaho is even outpacing its utilities’ ability to handle all the new sources.
It’s a good-news development, which one could have wished the congressman to have remained at his post to help nurture along further.
He was supplanted by a new, tea-party favored candidate.
It also suggests a question, though, of “Where’s the TVA?” whose wind-power generation seems stalled at capacity and output as half a decade ago.