Critical Thinking about Wind Power

Jon Boone

Jon Boone, environmentalist, naturalist, bird and nature artist, wind energy expert: QUESTIONS • Why did the Dutch stop using their windmills to grind their grain and pump water to reclaim their land from the sea--as soon as the steam engine was invented? • Why are sailing vessels used almost entirely for recreation today, rather than for commercial purposes? • What is the difference between energy and power? • Why must electricity supply be matched to demand at all times? • What are the implications for wind technology given that any power generated is a function of the cube of the wind speed along a narrow range of wind velocities (that is, a wind turbine doesn't begin to work until the wind speeds hits 9-mph and maxes out when the wind speeds hit around 34-mph)? • Why has steady, controllable, precision power been the basis of modern life?


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