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No math needed: A look at global warming by the numbers

April 22nd, 2009

2030

The United States Department of Energy has set a goal of reaching 20% wind energy by the year 2030. The DOE lays reports that in order to reach this goal, the wind power industry will need a large amount of raw materials, mostly fiber glass, or about half the amount of fiber glass that is currently used to build roofing shingles and double the amount used to build boats. The report also says, fortunately, this goal can be met despite the demand of raw materials.

The possibility of increasing wind power will have a positive effect on climate change. According to American Wind Energy Association, a single 1.5 MW wind turbine displaces 2,700 tons of CO2 per year and that is the equivalent of planting four square kilometers of forest every year.

According to Jim Walker, president of AWEA,  the cost increase to the consumer would average only 50 cents a month. The plan will reduce electric utility natural gas consumption by 50 percent and electric utility coal consumption by 18 percent, along with decreasing of other energy usage.

On the other side of the pond, the European Union has set a more ambitious goal of using renewable energy for 20 percent of their consumption by the year 2020. The EU adopted the plan on December 17, 2008. This plan also calls for the countries to reduce their carbon emissions by 20% as well.

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