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Winds of ChangeThe Environmental Movement and the Global Development of the Wind Energy Industry$
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Ion Bogdan Vasi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746927.001.0001

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Going with the Wind

Going with the Wind

The Environmentalist Transformation of the Electricity Sector

(p.142) 5 Going with the Wind
Winds of Change

Ion Bogdan Vasi

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the electricity sector has undergone two transformations since the 1990s. First, small, traditional wind turbine manufacturers have become industrial heavyweights, and traditional power plant manufacturers have recognized that wind turbine manufacturing is big business. Second, new companies specializing in wind‐farm development and operation have emerged, while growing numbers of electric utilities have invested in wind farms. This chapter demonstrates that the environmental movement contributed to these transformations when environmental activists gained control of energy companies and professional societies, criticized the traditional logic of energy production, and offered practical solutions. By becoming entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and champions, environmental movement activists and sympathizers made an essential contribution to wind turbine manufacturing. By forming wind turbine cooperatives, founding wind‐farm development companies, and constantly pressuring utility companies to invest in renewable energy, environmental organizations and activists also had a major impact on wind‐farm development.

Keywords:   environmental activism, wind turbine manufacturing, wind farms, wind energy entrepreneurs, wind energy champions

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