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Engineering Is: Developing Alternative Energy


A growing gust of support is giving clean, inexhaustible wind energy a real lift. The U.S. Department of Energy says it’s possible for wind to produce 20 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, up from 1 percent now. Legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens says it can be done within a decade. He’s hoping to build the country’s biggest wind farm in Texas, already the leader in wind power. But engineers have several hurdles to clear to make wind mainstream, including figuring out how to store excess capacity during calm periods and how to move electricity hundreds of miles from windy vistas to power-hungry cities. Universities in Wyoming, Colorado, and Iowa are among the many schools working to make wind energy a force to be reckoned with.

Watch a video on wind turbines here:

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