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Reaping the Wind by Peter Asmus

2001; 227 pp.


Island Press

Back in the seventies I knew an entrepreneurial hippie who lived among the redwoods in Sonoma County, California and sold wind turbines with the zeal of a Pentecostal preacher. By the mid-eighties he had disappeared from view. So, I thought, had California's tax shelter-induced fascination with wind power.

I was wrong. As Peter Asmus eloquently documents, wind power didn't disappear, it just quietly matured and is reemerging as a powerful, affordable, and environmentally friendly alternative to the evils of fossil fuels.

The pioneers of wind energy are an iconoclastic lot, tilting, if you will, at the windmills of conventional energy wisdom and quixotically persisting in the face of difference and opposition. Asmus profiles many of them while tracing the evolution of an industry that is beginning to experience explosive growth with technology that is finally both reliable and profitable.

There probably isn't a better book on the subject.

"William Heronemus was a dangerous man suggesting an audacious departure from the status quo. Because of his nuclear navy credentials and impressive grasp of convincing facts and figures, his call for fleets of huge wind turbines on ships floating off America's shores in the early 1970s received considerable media attention. Science magazine called him 'a prophet'..."

"Tribes such as the Navajo and Hopi view the harnessing of solar and wind power as one of the few business opportunities that is reconcilable with their legacy of self-determination, sovereignty, and environmental values....Because Native American lands such as those owned by the Navajo and Hopi feature the best solar and wind energy sites in the country, among the most economical power sources for these Indians will be renewable energy systems."


ISBN: 1559637072

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