When it comes to renewable energy, wind is taking the lead–at least at this stage of technological development. But what’s the best model for developing it? Should we follow the centralized utility model with big wind farms set up in a few places — offshore Massachusetts or the state of Texas — and then send the juice over wires to power homes and businesses far away? That’s the dominant model in the US. Or should we follow the community-owned wind power model, where the people using the power have a financial stake in it, too? Maybe a healthy mix of both would be best. Today, CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon speaks with Dan Juhl of Juhl Wind Development, which is helping communities around the country develop locally owned wind power cooperatives. The company has developed about 140 megawatts — or several hundred million dollars worth — of community-based wind projects. Francesca met him at the Sustainable Energy Summit at the University of Massachusetts in June. And Rheannon speaks with journalist Elizabeth Kolbert. Her recent New Yorker article, “The Island in the Wind,” profiles the Danish island of Samso, known internationally as the “renewable energy island” because residents get most of their power from windmills they cooperatively own.
—The US can achieve 20 percent energy from wind by 2030 with help from GE and T. Boone Pickens
Updates: —European parliament votes to include aviation emissions in Emissions Trading Scheme
—EPA report links climate change to human health risks, but Bush blocks GHG emissions regulation under Clean Air Act