Wind Energy Comes of Age / Edition 1

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Wind Energy Comes of Age is the most thorough assessment ever published of the technology, economics, and politics of generating electricity with wind. It provides an up-to-date status report on the modern wind industry worldwide.

Written by Paul Gipe, one of America's leading wind energy experts, this book chronicles wind energy's remarkable progress from its rebirth during the 1970s through a troubled adolescence in California's mountain passes in the 1980s to its maturation on the plains of northern Europe in the 1990s. Gipe argues in a readable and engaging style that wind is no longer an alternative source of energy. He cites improvements in the performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness of modern wind turbines to support his contention that wind energy has come of age as a commercial technology.

Unlike other books on the subject, which focus on technology alone, Wind Energy Comes of Age critically examines a host of issues that will determine the future of this renewable resource, including:

  • Wind energy's environmental benefits
  • The design of wind turbines "as if people matter"
  • Wind energy's impact on people and the environment
  • Aesthetics and public acceptance
  • Wind energy's potential
  • Centrally directed vs. market-oriented R & D
  • Wind energy's role in electric utilities

Wind Energy Comes of Age is extensively illustrated with more than 170 original line drawings, photographs, and charts. An annotated bibliography, tables of technical data, maps of wind resources, and a virtually exhaustive list of manufacturers, governmental agencies, and private organizations working with the wind further enhance the book's value as a reference. Not since the classic works of Putnam in 1948 or Golding in 1955 has there been a book on wind energy of this scope.

For those interested in the burgeoning wind energy field—engineers, researchers, environmentalists, policy specialists, and community leaders—Wind Energy Comes of Age is an essential resource.

Written by Paul Gipe, one of America's leading wind energy experts, Wind Energy Comes of Age is a comprehensive guide to the technology, economics, and politics of wind energy. Gipe has brought together information available nowhere else about American and European experience with wind energy. This landmark work is an indispensable reference source for engineers, researchers, environmentalists, planners, policy specialists, and community leaders who deal with this fast-growing field.

"A pragmatism born of meticulous research and wide field experience has made Paul Gipe one of windpower's most astute critics and most credible friends. He backs his exuberant chronicle with an insider's knowledge of the difficult process by which wind power has finally become practical. This is one of the best accounts of the rise of a technology I've ever seen."—Jay Baldwin, Whole Earth Review

"The wind energy field has waited a long time for a well-written, informative reference book like Paul Gipe's, Wind Energy Comes of Age. This book is a must-have for developers in need of technical or economic information, politicians who want to know both sides of the wind energy story, technicians who want a reliable reference and others interested in a well-rounded introduction to wind energy."—Torgny Mo?ller, Publisher, Windpower Monthly

"This book will make a major contribution to the development of wind energy in a responsible manner."—Neil Kelley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Wind Technology Division

"For industry insiders as well as newcomers to the field, this book will be a valuable tool for understanding the development of wind power thus far."—Birger Madsen, Danish wind energy pioneer

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Editorial Reviews

Wind-power expert and advocate Gipe offers a comprehensive snapshot of the technology's current status, not hesitating to detail the social and environmental as well as technical challenges that stand in the way of further development. He discusses the experience in the US and Europe, research and development, the demise of the wind giants, the declining cost, aesthetics and public acceptance, the impact on natural and human environments, and the potential in light of other energy sources. He also provides lists of many print and organization information sources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471109242
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/14/1995
  • Series: Wiley Series in Sustainable Design Series, #4
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 1.25 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL GIPE is an internationally recognized authority on wind energy. After nearly two decades of working with wind energy, he has hands-on experience in nearly every aspect of the technology. Gipe has served as the West Coast representative of the American Wind Energy Association and as Executive Director of the Kern Wind Energy Association. In 1988 he received the American Wind Energy Association's highest honor for his contribution to the field. He has written two previous books: Wind Energy: How to Use It and Wind Power for Home and Business, both known for their frank, no-nonsense approach. He is a contributing editor to Independent Energy magazine and lectures widely on wind energy, both in the United States and abroad.
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Table of Contents



The Vikings Are Coming.

The Research and Development Dilemma.

Death Knell for the Giants.

Historical Background.

The Giant Killers.

Wind Energy's Declining Costs.


Machines in the Garden: Aesthetics, Opinion, Design, and Acceptance.

Impact on Flora and Fauna.

Impacts on People.

Impact on Land.


The Emerald City.


Wind's Future.



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