There is vast energy available in the earth's winds for man's use. It is conservatively estimated that the wind power available to man is the equivalent of the output of 1000 typical fossil fueled or nuclear power plants of 1000 megawatts (MW) capacity each. By contrast, the water power potential of the earth is only one-tenth as large. Large wind generators have been built and used during the past 50 years. Research on wind power sites in the mountainous coastal and valley areas of the Pacific Northwest is being conducted. Terrain modification, aerogenerator “farms,” special duty installations, environmental impacts, land use, and net energy costs are all taken into consideration. It is concluded that wind power shows promise of supplying substantial amounts of supplementary electrical energy and that the development of this wind power potential should proceed with the federal government taking a lead role.

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Footnotes

1 A presentation made by invitation to the Subcommittee on Environment and Energy, Joint Interim Committee on Environmental, Agricultural, and Natural Resources at the State Capital, Salem, Oregon on 11 April 1974.