Students in Texas enjoyed learning about the many benefits of wind power

About 50 junior school children from Grand Prairie, Texas who completed a two-week course on wind power learned about Global Wind Day, wind turbines and offshore wind farm, according to Kyle Damon, who organised the unique program.

Damon, a science and technology facilitator at David Daniels Elementary, said the students who were between 8 and 10 years old used reading, writing, mathematics and science to understand wind power.

“It was everything wind,” Damon said in a telephone interview with the European Wind Energy Association. “Everyone enjoyed it.” The students learned about the history of wind, the power-generating industry, turbines and pitch, he said, adding one group of students even built a model offshore wind farm in a tray of water.

“The kids loved [the course] and the teachers had fun with it.” Damon said the idea for the course came about because the wind power sector is becoming such a large industry in Texas.

Earlier in the week, Global Wind Day was promoted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) which urged citizens to lobby Congress to pass a “Renewable Electricity Standard” as a way of attracting the investment required to continue the growth in wind power and other renewable energies.

Among other Global Wind Day-related events, AWEA highlighted five highly beneficial facts that wind power offers the US, which is, after China, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses from burning fossil fuels.

“Global Wind Day is a great opportunity to underscore that wind works because it is vital to our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental security,” Denise Bode, AWEA CEO said in a press release. “With our ‘Five Wind Facts,’ we hope to encourage more citizens to get involved in the campaign to increase America’s use of wind energy, and to call on Congress to pass a strong national Renewable Electricity Standard as part of energy and climate legislation.”

The association noted that wind power creates a significant number of new jobs, offers financial help to farmers and rural communities, provides long-term stable electricity prices for consumers, is an inexhaustible and reliable generation source, and mitigates environmental degradation by reducing greenhouse gasses caused by destructive fossil fuels.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the US wind power sector installed nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity in 2009, enough to serve over 2.4 million average American homes. The 9,996 MW installed last year expanded the US wind plant fleet by 39% and brought total wind power generating capacity in the nation to over 35,000 MW.

GWEC also notes that wind energy is now operating in 36 of the 50 US states, with Texas the leader with more than 9,000 MW of total installed capacity.

By Chris Rose,