Wind Energy
A Reference Handbook
by David E. Newton
November 2014, 348pp, 6 x 9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-689-0
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-690-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Surprisingly, some environmentalists oppose wind technology.

While covering the fascinating history of wind power as a whole, this timely handbook focuses on current technological developments and the promise—and pitfalls—of wind energy as part of the world's energy future.

The use of wind power for the generation of electricity holds vast potential for solving the world’s energy problems, but numerous technical and social issues must be addressed before that potential can be realized. This handbook will both educate students about current issues related to wind energy and introduce the ways in which mankind has harnessed the wind through the ages. The book covers topics as diverse as early windmills in Europe, the United States, China, and the Middle East; the development of wind farms for electricity generation; and political factors involved in the development of wind energy today. Conventional wind turbine mechanics are explained, as are the technical improvements that drive modern wind turbines and other wind systems.

What makes the handbook unique is that it combines hard science with perspective pieces that address topics such as potential environmental damage that can result from modern wind technology, and how recent developments in wind turbine technology hold the promise for considerably reducing the cost of this alternate energy source, making it competitive with conventional fossil fuels. Readers will be engaged by extensive discussion of the economic, political, and ethical issues raised by the expanding use of wind energy in the United States and elsewhere, and they will be intrigued by a look at what wind power can mean to the planet’s energy future.


  • Serves as a comprehensive introduction to the topic and a guide for further study
  • Features expert essays on issues and controversies related to the use of wind energy
  • Covers the dangers wind power poses to wildlife as well as its impacts on communities' economic development
  • Profiles key individuals and organizations in the field
  • Includes statistical information on the production and consumption of wind energy in the United States and around the world
David E. Newton has been a freelance writer of nonfiction books and ancillary materials for young adults for nearly 55 years. He has published more than 400 textbooks, encyclopedias, and encyclopedia articles as well as lab manuals, problems books, and other publications. Newton was formerly a teacher of high school science and mathematics in Grand Rapids, MI; professor of chemistry and physics at Salem State College; and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. He holds a doctorate in science education from Harvard University.


"This volume in the Contemporary World Issues series provides a thorough introduction to the science behind and the history of the use of wind for energy. . . . The organization of the book makes it easy to use, and the extensive and up-to date number of resources is impressive. This is a reference that could be adapted for use by high school and college students as well as general readers interested in the topic."—Booklist, June 9, 2015

"Newton, a prolific author and former secondary school and academic educator, provides a nontechnical introduction to wind energy with a focus on history and policy. . . . The content is solid but standard, fitting for an early undergraduate audience. . . . Lower-division undergraduates and general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2015

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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