by Miles Flisher
Wind turbine farms are becoming more popular across the United States and Europe. A company based in Germany, called E.ON, has invested in wind farms that produce nearly 4000 megawatts of clean power combined. E.ON is also responsible for a large scale wind farm in Roscoe, Texas, which produces 800 megawatts alone. E.ON is also undertaking a massive project that includes three separate 200 megawatt wind farms near Amarillo, Texas. Jeff Clark, the Executive Director of the Wind Coalition, says that Texas is the greatest area in the United States for wind turbine farming. Areas of Nebraska are also very lucrative with wind. It seems to be only a matter of time before companies like E.ON begin investing in this region.
A low frequency rumble down under prevents residents in parts of Australia from moving onward with new wind farm projects. Surprisingly, an offer of up to $250,000 annually per 50 megawatts produced is being turned down by local farmers and landowners. Other residents have expressed concern that large wind turbines, deemed eyesores, would compromise the natural beauty of the Australian landscape. Recently an official at the opening of a 3.4 billion dollar coal mine was quoted saying “sure, coal is a source of emissions, but it’s also a source of energy and there can be no prosperity without energy.” Some believe that this is a strong sign that the Australian government is not ready to invest in new sources of clean, renewable energy. Australia’s second leading export is coal. The mining and exportation of coal keeps thousands of people employed, and is a staple source of income for the government. This partly explains their resistance to large-scale investment in renewable, clean energy. Despite the resistance, a Chinese wind power company is pressing Australia to invest in their product. The company is predicting that Australia will have farms that combine up to 700 megawatts by 2020.