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The Establishment of Wind Energy

Clean Breeze
Dylan Miller and Dailyn Molina
Tallwood High School

The Establishment of Wind Energy

Table of Contents
Explanation of the Position

History of the Problem

Causes of the Problem

Consequences of the Problem

Proposed Solution

Opposition

Conclusion

Citations

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The Establishment of Wind Energy

Explanation of Position
We are supporting the establishment of wind energy as a renewable energy source in
Virginia. The goal of this movement is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity,
and to send Virginia on the path to a greener, more sustainable future.
Cities, such as Virginia Beach, are already exploring sources of renewable energy as a
new way to produce energy to their citizens. The United States as a whole is home to one of the
largest and fastest growing wind markets. But more needs to be done.
Clean Breeze believes in the economic and more important environmental effects of
using wind energy. With new innovations every day in wind energy, and the support of the
citizens of Virginia, we can make this state the greenest of the county.

This map shows what Virginia can


look like with wind energy.

This is a picture of a wind farm


that could be installed off the coasts of Virginia

The Establishment of Wind Energy

History of the problem


Ever since the Industrial Revolution, large amounts of fossil fuels have been used to
produce energy and run the new factories. This resulted in large emissions of pollutants such as
carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
Coal was the first widespread used fossil fuel. It is also the dirtiest fossil fuel; releasing
the more pollutants than any other fossil fuel. The mining for coal also disturbs the environment,
with multiple ways of mining, all including harmful impacts to the surrounding ecosystem.
Today we still use fossil fuels to run factories, to run our cars, and for most of our daily
activities. The negative effects of these fossil fuels are still around the United States and Virginia.
These effects will not go away unless we make a change.
Wind energy is the answer. No more emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases, no more disturbing the environment for nonrenewable energy sources, and no more
dependence on a dirty energy source.

This graph shows the increase in


greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the 20th century.

The Establishment of Wind Energy

Cause of the problem


The main cause of the problem is the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution
used large amount of fossil fuels. This widespread use of these energy sources resulted in a giant
increase of pollutants introduced into the environment.
Another cause of the problem is the increased use in vehicles such as airplanes, boats,
and cars, without regard to the environmental costs. The United States has more cars than any
other nation, and this immense use of cars and fossil fuels results in the continued emissions.
Without the support of clean, renewable energy this trend will continue, and these effects
will not be stopped.
Consequences of the problem
Coal burning power plants are one of the leading sources for carbon dioxide emissions,
the primary cause of global warming. Coal burning power plants produce other pollutants such
as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and mercury, among many other harmful
pollutants.
Sulfur dioxide contributes to the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate
into human lungs and be absorbed by the bloodstream. SO2 also causes acid rain, which
damages crops, forests, and soils, and acidifies lakes and streams. A typical uncontrolled coal
plant emits 14,100 tons of SO2 per year. Nitrogen oxides cause ground level ozone, or smog,
which can burn lung tissue, exacerbate asthma, and make people more susceptible to chronic
respiratory diseases. Particulate matter can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and
premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility. Coal plants are responsible for more than
half of the U.S. human-caused emissions of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that causes brain
damage and heart problems. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can

The Establishment of Wind Energy

make the fish unsafe to eat. A typical uncontrolled coal plant emits approximately 170 pounds of
mercury each year.
The continued use of these fossil fuels to create energy will result in the continued
emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants. This will result in the continued threats to the
health of thousands of people with the previously mentioned effects such as chronic respiratory
diseases and damage of lung tissue. The continued use of fossil fuels will also continue to emit
greenhouse gases, further depleting the ozone layer and increasing temperatures around the
world. This leads to numerous catastrophic effects that can all be avoided.

This graph shows the large amount of


greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the United States compared to every other country. The
United States is among the leaders.

Proposed solutions
There are multiple ways for the United States, including Virginia, can cut back on its
carbon footprint, such as the installation of solar panels, the use of hybrid or electric cars, or the
use of mass transportation. Clean Breeze proposes that the state of Virginia invests in renewable
wind energy. This will result in multiple benefits for the state and for its citizens, not only
environmentally but economically as well.

The Establishment of Wind Energy

An amazing benefit of wind energy is that the wind turbines can be on land, out at sea, or
both! Clean Breeze believes that the state of Virginia should do both. We can use offshore wind
turbines in the Tidewater region around the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach area, who have
already shown their support for renewable energy sources. The state of Virginia could create
wind farms on land throughout the state to provide energy to all citizens.
The use of wind energy also results in economic benefits to the region with the source.
This has been seen in multiple states, such as Maine, Iowa, and Texas, who have successfully
implemented wind energy as their main source of power and reap the economic rewards. A few
of these benefits include the creation of new jobs, savings from consumers, and annual property
tax as seen in the infographic below.

This infographic shows the economic benefits Iowa


experienced through the use of wind energy.

These are the type of wind turbines that could be used in


Virginia.

The Establishment of Wind Energy

This image shows the amazing tradeoffs caused by the use of wind energy.

Opposition
Those who oppose the establishment of wind energy in Virginia would point to the costs
of constructing wind turbines, the negative effects to birds, and that wind farms require a large
amount of space. However, these are all minor cons when weighed against the pros.
Wind energy may be expensive to start up, but it is an investment guaranteed to return
profits. The United States Department of Energy talks about the wind energy benefits, including
the economic benefits. The use of wind energy creates jobs and results in thousands of people
getting jobs. This was seen in 2010 when the United States invested in wind energy, leading to
75,000 new workers in the same year. Another source of economic gain is in property taxes.
Achieving 20% wind energy by 2030 would provide $8.8 billion in the United States. The energy
produced by wind turbines is also cheap, only costing 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. Finally,
even the operating costs to run wind farms are low, only about 10% or less of the wholesale
value of wind is used to manage operating costs. It may be expensive to begin, but that will
quickly be forgotten with the numerous economic benefits.

The Establishment of Wind Energy

Unfortunately, there are birds that die from the blades of the wind turbines. But the
amount of birds that are harmed by the wind turbines is nowhere near the number of organisms,
multiple species, birds, mammals, amphibians, and plants, harmed by the use of fossil fuels. The
use of fossil fuels results in the emission of hazardous chemicals into the air that affects the
respiratory functions of animals and kills vegetation. Just abstracting fossil fuels, such as oil and
coal, harms the local ecosystem with damaging mining methods and fracking.
Wind farms do require a certain amount of space for the turbines. But Virginia does not
have to worry about this issue. Wind farms can either be on land or at sea, meaning that the state
of Virginia can have wind farms all the way from the Appalachian Mountains to Atlantic Ocean.
With ample space to construct wind turbines, this is not an issue concerning Virginia.
Conclusion
Virginia must establish and promote the use of wind energy for a more sustainable and
cleaner future. The benefits of wind farms and the energy produced by them far outweigh any
benefits of the polluting fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Wind energy produces no greenhouse gases like fossil fuels do with every use. These
wind farms also do not produce pollutants that harm human, animals, and plants alike. The
establishment of wind energy in the state of Virginia will create hundreds of jobs and numerous
economic benefits to the state and its citizens.
To support the establishment and promotion of wind energy in Virginia, please sign our
petition. The link is below!
https://www.change.org/p/terry-mcauliffe-to-establish-wind-energy-in-the-state-of-virginia?
recruiter=540445427&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

The Establishment of Wind Energy

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Citations

Wind Power. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2016, from


http://www.vbgov.com/government/offices/green/energy/Pages/wind-power.aspx
Wind. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2016, from http://www.energy.gov/scienceinnovation/energy-sources/renewable-energy/wind
An Earth-Friendly Wind Vision. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2016, from
http://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/earth-friendly-wind-vision
Coal power: Air pollution. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2016, from
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02c.html#.VzTzQIQrLIU
New report: Iowa wind power success story just getting started. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17,
2016, from http://www.aweablog.org/new-report-iowa-wind-power-success-story-justgetting-started/
Virginia DEQ - Wind Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2016, from
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/PollutionPrevention/VirginiaInformationSourcefor
Energy/RenewableEnergy/WindEnergy.aspx
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy | Clean Energy Ideas. (2013). Retrieved
May 17, 2016, from http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/wind/wind-energy/advantagesand-disadvantages-of-wind-energy
Fossil Fuels - IER. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2016, from
http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/encyclopedia/fossil-fuels/