Renewable Energy Sources Are Gaining Popularity
BAY - The wind turbine being built at Portsmouth Abbey may end up supplying the campus with half of its electricity, but it's also energizing more interest in renewable forms of energy throughout the region.
And not a moment too soon, according to Bob Chew, president of the Barrington-based SolarWrights Inc., who says wind and solar power and other alternative forms of energy are the future.
He pointed to skyrocketing fuel costs, Hurricane Katrina and other recent natural disasters ("We now realize how vulnerable we are."), more scientific evidence of global warming ("Most people are realizing it's a reality, not a theory.") and other factors that have created a "perfect storm" necessitating more reliance on renewable energy sources.
And that's why all eyes seem to be on the Abbey, which two weeks ago set the anchor for its 164-foot turbine expected to be completed in March. If the turbine does what it's supposed to do, other schools, businesses, state agencies and even residential neighborhoods may follow its lead, especially now that Gov. Donald Carcieri's goal is for 15 percent of the state's power to be supplied by wind.
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Wind power might run into competitive trouble against emerging clean coal technologies, but if carbon dioxide isn't taxed. Photo is simulation of future Waymart Wind Farm in Pennsylvania.
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