Abstract

Wind energy projects have been proposed all over the world. West Michigan coastal communities, like other communities worldwide, are in the midst of assessing the benefits and challenges of siting wind energy farms. These wind energy projects reflect Michigan’s changing mix of potential energy sources; changes that are requiring the attention of all West Michigan communities.

Michigan’s electricity providers consider wind energy to be the most cost effective, scalable means of meeting the state’s 10 percent renewable energy standard [1]. Wind energy enjoys broad support in general, but specific projects can draw opposition [2]. Understanding the factors that influence wind energy deployment can help citizens, communities, and wind energy companies make informed choices about appropriately developing wind energy in coastal West Michigan.

In this issue brief, we summarize the factors that have influenced wind energy deployment around the world, and apply them to the West Michigan coastal zone. Europe has more extensive experience with wind energy than the United States. Most of the case studies on factors affecting wind energy deployment come from Europe, but a few United States‐based studies are included here.

Keywords

wind energy, renewable resources, wind power, renewable energy sources

Disciplines

Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Oil, Gas, and Energy