Scaling Wind


SCALING WIND profiles people championing the vision of 20% wind energy in America & explores the primary barriers to this achievement.

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SCALING WIND is a documentary in progress that addresses the primary barriers to America achieving 20% of its electricity generation from wind energy. Drawing from the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2008 report, “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030″ (, the film profiles people working to overcome the challenges facing achievement of the 20% vision, including the need to modernize and expand the power grid and smarten the nation’s energy policy for a stable market.

Produced in partnership with The Center for the Market Diffusion of Renewable Energy and Clean Technology at Utah State University:

The film is in need of editing and sound production before it can be released to the public domain. 

Please watch the film trailer below, or go to for a full size version of the trailer.

(From GreenTech Films on Vimeo.)

The purpose of the film is to communicate the importance of how today’s energy decisions will impact America’s future; educate policymakers and citizens about the viability of wind energy’s potential for the nation; explain how wind energy may contribute to America’s economic recovery; and inspire involvement from relevant stakeholders. These points are made through the stories of people who are working to guide our nation’s energy system onto a safe, cost-effective, and sustainable path.

Because wind is free and renewable, wind energy is price-stable and predictable. Utilities can lock-in wind power prices for 20 plus years, and wind energy can be a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices, such as coal and natural gas. Wind energy can displace the burning of fossil fuels, improving air and water quality.

You’ll meet an ex-president, two governors, mayors, and local town officials- both Republicans and Democrats- working on policies to open markets for wind energy. You’ll hear directly from the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratories) scientists who researched and wrote the report on 20% wind. You’ll meet farmers and ranchers hosting wind turbines and power lines on their lands. You’ll meet returned military veterans entering the wind energy workforce. And you’ll meet everyday people making a difference in their communities.


More Information:

Excerpt from comprehensive artice:
Written By Cathy Hartman, Edwin Stafford, and Sandra Reategul

Small-scale urban wind farms hold significant promise for diversifying America’s energy resources and achieving a more distributed energy infrastructure.  They sidestep the costs of lengthy power line construction and power losses associated with transmitting energy over long distances.

Utah’s first commercial wind power project, located in the city of Spanish Fork, resulted in one of the nation’s most urban wind farms.  It faced stiff headwinds at every turn.

Developers had to negotiate changing and inconsistent city and state policies, siting and pricing roadblocks, a fickle investor, and resistance from nearby residents.  Successful development of Spanish Fork City’s winds provides some lessons for how urban communities may accept and encourage local wind energy development.

Successful urban wind development depends not only on establishing markets for utilities and power users but also on building social movements within local communities.
Some key findings:
·         Wind entrepreneurs need to be flexible, consider the costs and benefits that may accrue to various stakeholder groups, and engage communities about the benefits of urban wind energy prior to, during, and after construction.
·         Although federal and state policies encourage wind and renewable energy development, decisions to actually build and approve wind projects take place on the local level – in the chambers of city council and county commission meetings
·         City councils and country commissions often face a steep learning curve regarding benefits, challenges, and best practices for zoning and approving urban wind projects (e.g., proximity to homes)
·         Many federal and state policies and incentives designed to encourage wind and renewable energy development sometimes create unintended roadblocks because they expire, restrict who may take advantage of them, or limit arbitrarily how much utilities are obligated to pay for new renewable energy
·         Federal, state and city policymakers need to review existing renewable energy policies to make them more long-term and flexible to reflect prevailing energy market conditions
·         Continued celebration and promotion of the economic benefits of urban wind development are necessary to ensure long-term community support.