In the video on that page, Heather Zichal underscores the goal of 10% alternative energy (not just electricity, one assumes) by 2012 and their commitment to “production tax credits to ensure more building of wind farms … and getting the transmission rights so that we can bring these new sources on line.”
She also notes that “we talk a lot about our need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” and that they plan to “increase efficiency by 25% in [federal government] buildings”.
The Obama team needs to know that it is no longer excusable to pretend that large-scale wind is a meaningful part of these energy and environmental goals. Wind energy is intermittent, variable, and nondispatchable, so it can not replace other more reliable sources without correspondingly large-scale storage methods which don’t yet exist and which would add to its cost and further reduce the amount of usable energy extracted. Wind power’s ability to meaningfully reduce even slightly the rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions is thus very limited. The money should be spent much more effectively than this.
Furthermore, big wind is largely incompatible with other environmental interests. It requires giant (400-500 feet high) moving machines spread out over a great expanse (at least 50 acres per rated megawatt), thus severely altering the rural and wild places where it is built, destroying and fragmenting habitat (with heavy-duty roads and high-voltage transmission lines as well) and presenting a direct threat to birds and bats (not just from the blades, but also from the low-pressure vortices created behind the blades). See www.wind-watch.org/documents/category/wildlife/
Where there are human neighbors, the adverse effects on health from the intrusive rhythmic noise and shadow flicker are increasingly documented (see www.wind-watch.org/documents/category/health/. These people are the victims of the unquestioning support of industrial wind developers by politicians and, sadly, many environmentalists and progressives.
In short, industrial wind fails on many levels. Its potential benefits are at best minimal, and its adverse impacts to the landscape, animals, and people are many and only increase. Large-scale wind is a destructive boondoggle.