Cover image for Reaping the wind : how mechanical wizards, visionaries, and profiteers helped shape our energy future
Reaping the wind : how mechanical wizards, visionaries, and profiteers helped shape our energy future
Asmus, Peter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Island Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
x, 277 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK1541 .A75 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From the solitary windmill standing sentry over a rural homestead to the sleek machinery of a modern wind farm, windmills are a powerful symbol of self-reliance and human ingenuity. Once the province of backyard tinkerers and eccentric inventors, they have since the 1980s entered the mainstream to be embraced by environmentalists, venture capitalists and policymakers alike.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a very interesting story of a much-misunderstood technology. Asmus, a reporter in California, has covered the wind energy scene for 20 years. He has interviewed and reinterviewed all the major players and has the gift of making this very confused and convoluted history come alive. The wind has a very long legacy as a power source, and many myths arose around the power of wizards and witches to predict and summon the wind. In modern times the Danes have produced the best technology, while the Americans have tried more risky and failure-prone approaches. The wind is free but the machines to harness it are expensive, complex, and sometimes dangerous, both to men and more often to birds. Much of the recent development was fueled by tax incentives, often poorly written, which invited con artists and soured the financial community. The public thinks the wind is "green" and is mostly unaware of the technical and economic problems. The OPEC cartel's power underscores the need to find viable alternatives to fossil fuel. Asmus's major resource explains the human and physical challenges that must be overcome. Source notes; comprehensive index. All levels. J. C. Comer emeritus, Northern Illinois University