Power Answers Blowing in the Wind

Visiting Scholar Stephen Hesse sees wind power as the most promising alternative energy source currently available.

Published: 28-Mar-2005

e is no doubt our dependence on fossil fuels will end. We will wean ourselves off oil and coal because they pose unacceptable environmental and security risks, or we will be forced to stop using them as reserves dwindle and climate change intensifies.

To most foreign observers, the United States appears blithely intent on the latter course. A closer look, however, reveals numerous clean-energy initiatives at the local level, and these will be thriving long after the Bush administration's policies have been judged disastrous to the environment, the economy -- and national security. I'm convinced because I recently visited our clean-energy future.

My trip began this month at the New England Sustainable Energy Association's annual conference in Boston, a showcase of companies, organizations and professionals working on renewable energies and new building technologies. From MIT engineers to corporate salespeople, the conference was an inspiring window on a vibrant segment of American industry that the media have all but ignored.

One seminar explored public perceptions of wind power, and the first speaker, Dr. Letherios Pavlides, made it clear that what was formerly a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) technology is quickly becoming YIMBY: Yes, In My Back Yard!

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