Earth Day is a good time for a refresher on all of the ways wind power helps preserve our natural resources while cleaning the environment. From water savings to smog reduction, there are a number of ways emission-free wind energy helps us practice good stewardship.
Perhaps most important, wind power is the biggest, fastest, cheapest way to cut carbon pollution. In 2015, it reduced CO2 emissions equivalent to all the power sector carbon dioxide pollution from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado combined.
Wind also helps reduce harmful pollutants that dirty our air, creating smog and triggering asthma attacks. Last year, it cut 176,000 metric tons of sulfur dioxide and 106,000 metric tons of nitrogen oxide. We can breathe easier with less of these around.
Wind power doesn’t just clear the air, however. It’s also a major water-saver. Because it doesn’t use water for cooling purposes, unlike conventional power plants that drain lots to ensure they don’t overheat, wind saves billions of gallons every year. That’s an overlooked, yet important, feature, especially in parts of the U.S. that struggle with drought.
On top of all of this, wind has a small footprint. A typical wind farm leaves 98 to 99 percent of land undisturbed, preserving habitats and leaving it free for other uses, like farming or ranching.
The Department of Energy says wind could supply 35 percent of America’s electricity on one-third the amount of land as its golf courses.
These are just a few of the ways wind power helps ensure a clean, prosperous future for generations to come. As it continues to grow, we’ll see even more of these environmental benefits. That’s something we can all support.