Gone With the Wind

As we have started to shift to green energy, there has been an ongoing debate about what method or generating energy is the most fuel efficient. One of these methods that has gained a large amount of popularity is wind energy. Although wind energy is becoming a more acceptable way to have a fuel efficient future, Pennsylvania has remained wary of its actual potential.

Wind energy started becoming popular in the mid-2000s in the state of Pennsylvania, most notably in the Southwestern and Northeastern regions. Up until 2012, there were multiple wind farms popping up all along the state of Pennsylvania. Since then only one farm has come into existence, halting the process of utilizing alternate sources of energy. Because of this large decline in wind farms, our natural resources continue to be used, causing pollution in our environment.


Renewable Energy Plants (Wind farm ) stock photo

As wind energy began to gain recognition for being more efficient, people began to see the benefit of having large windmills generating renewable energy. Jim Spencer founded the company EverPower in 2002, making Pittsburgh the home of this new energy company. EverPower are in charge of developing the largest wind farms in the state of PA.


In 2004, the legislature of Pennsylvania passed the  Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. This standard made it a requirement that companies have to provide electricity from both renewable sources and also alternative energy sources. Other states began to follow Pennsylvania’s thinking, as New York made it a goal to have 50% of its energy renewable by 2030, compared to Pittsburgh’s 18% by 2021. In order for energy companies in Pennsylvania to complete this goal, they have to buy their electricity either inside the state borders or from other states. The energy source can vary, ranging from geothermal to even solar energy. But the energy companies use of wind was changed during the natural gas boom where companies wanted to have gas fired power plants.

People who are in support of wind energy have stated that the percentage of renewables in the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard need to change and should be raised for higher chances of production. Supporters also say that the state should require that all wind energy must come from inside the state borders. Politicians like John Maher, the chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, have voted for the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard to be implemented. Although this standard has gained outside support, it has not reached its ultimate goal of 18% usage of renewable resources.


Offshore wind farm energy turbines at dawn. Surreal but natural sunrise at sea. stock photo 

As energy companies begin to experiment more with wind energy, they are going to have to make some changes in order for their use of wind energy to grow. They’ll have to find more land to build wind farms since most of the areas have already been built on. In addition to finding more land, builders have also developed the idea of building one of these farms over water. Cities in Pennsylvania, like Pittsburgh, have also become home to these large wind turbines, like the one that recently was built by the Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center. As more people become educated on wind energy, we will be able to not only better our environment but also find more renewable and efficient resources of energy.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. callie.oliver says:

    Wind energy is so cool, and it’s important to utilize. Investments in the structure of wind farms are hefty though. Turbines aren’t cheap, and the transportation of supplies is a heavy load on the environment. But once they’re operational, there’s so much benefit. Geothermal energy in PA isn’t as plausible because we have fewer hot spots to tap into. I haven’t seen the turbine built by the PEIC! That’s pretty neat.

  2. Tabitha Weaver says:

    it is cool to know that Pittsburgh is pushing for cleaner energy, and also interesting to see the different funding for different kinds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *