Backstories of the Palm Springs Windmills by Thomas Spiglanin is a beautifully illustrated guide to the wind farms of the … Read more

Espace Eolien Developpement Windmaster 25-meter turbine on the digue at Dunkerque, France in the early 1990s.

La Puissance du Vent: Des moulins á vent aux éoliennes modernes by Philippe Bruyerre is a major work on the history of wind energy particularly in France, but also elsewhere. His book earns a place in French analogous to Matthias Heymann’s masterwork on German wind energy or Rinie van Est’s Winds of Change.


Guy Dauncey’s novel Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible has been extolled by a who’s who of Canadian environmental thought leaders from Elizabeth May, onetime leader of Canada’s Green Party, to David Suzuki, TV personality and environmental activist. The book has also garnered laurels from the Green party of the UK and American progressive radio host Thom Hartmann.

China is the world's largest emittion of carbon, followed by the USA.

David Toke’s China’s Role in Reducing Carbon Emissions: The Stabilisation of Energy Consumption and the Deployment of Renewable Energy provides a valuable service in explaining–in English–China’s explosive rise to dominate world renewable energy development. Unless you work in the field you won’t realize that Chinese companies are leaders in wind, solar, and electric vehicles. If it wasn’t for Tesla in California, China’s dominance in EVs would be almost complete.


Germany’s Energy Transition is a compilation of articles on the progress of Germany’s revolutionary transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels and nuclear power. It joins a growing list of books in English explaining how the Germans were able to make such rapid progress and, importantly, what went wrong politically that has curbed further rapid growth.


For those who’ve fought the wind wars and done battle with renewable energy skeptics, climate denialists, and the “wind turbines cause cancer” crowd, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease by Simon Chapman and Fiona Crichton is a welcome antidote.

No to Wind Turbines in the Camprafaud grafitti on a road cut in the south of France. 2005.

“Long overdue, this guide on how to place renewable energy in the landscape to maximize public acceptance is critical to the energy transition that is so desperately needed.”

Small Scale Renewables Sven Ruin

Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems is a slim 210-page book on hybrid renewable projects by Swedish authors Sven Ruin and Göran Sidén.

Rare photo of a Magnus effect wind turbine at the Southern California Edison test site near Palm Springs sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It was featured on the cover off Popular Science Magazine.

I bristled when Vaughn Nelson contacted me for help with his new book Innovative Wind Turbines. Not that it was Vaughn. He’s my mentor and the founder of West Texas A&M University’s Alternative Energy Institute (AEI). Vaughn first taught me the importance of swept area and how to quickly cut through the hype that often surrounds new wind turbines. He’s the physicist I turn to when I have a wind question. And no it wasn’t that he was asking for some photos I’d taken decades ago of obscure wind turbines. It was simply the word “innovative.”

Hoopers squirrel-cage VAWT late 18th century, Margate.

Ok, I am a windmill geek, have been for decades now. I work with modern wind energy, but my interest in the subject has led off in many directions, including traditional or “Dutch” windmills. I have a hefty collection of books on Dutch, German, French, and, yes, on English windmills.