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U.S. Wind Resources Could Power the Nation 10 Times Over

Could wind farms like these fuel the future? Some studies say they could -- and then some!

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Although the industrial application of wind power for producing electricity has been in development for decades, it is still a relatively young technology with much to prove in terms of viability. The motivation to move forward isn't based on what wind offers today, but rather the staggering potential it holds. Yes, it is currently an expensive endeavor requiring loads of cash and the enthusiasm of a Labrador. But when you consider the simple abundance and regularity of the wind, nothing else really comes close to matching what may be possible.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory states that the potential of land-based resources (wind farms installed on land as opposed to the open ocean) alone could provide America with its electricity needs 10 times over [source: AWEA].

A 2009 Harvard study found that a network of turbines operating at even a modest 20 percent of capacity could supply more than 40 times the worldwide demand for electricity. If this study, and others like it, are even in the ballpark, then continuing the exploration of wind as an alternative to fossil fuels is a no-brainer.

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