News & Articles on History of Wind Power

This page was prompted by a technical question about early electricity-generating wind turbines in the United States. The question followed a similar question about “who was the first” to interconnect a wind turbine with an electricity network. There is a lot of confusion internationally about both subjects.

The history of wind energy is a broad subject and many have written about it. I’ve pulled together a list of sources, books, links, and museums that I know about. This list is far from comprehensive. If anyone wants to add to this list or edit this list, please do so.

A number of the entries below are reviews I’ve written of books that include the history of wind energy. The original book can usually be reached from the review. Other news items are relevant to the history of wind turbine development.

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Die Geschichte der Windenergienutzung 1890-1990 (The History of Wind Energy Utilization 1890-1990) by Matthias Heymann

By

Paul Gipe

American readers will find two sections particularly intriguing: development of wind energy in Germany during the Third Reich, and a critical comparison of the German, U.S., and Danish wind energy programs in the modern era.

Reaping the Wind: How Mechanical Wizards, Visionaries, and Profiteers Helped Shape Our Energy Future by Peter Asmus

By

Paul Gipe

Timing is everything. And Peter Asmus couldn’t have better timed the release of his book about the rise and fall …

L’électricité éolienne de la Belle Epoque à EDF (French Wind Energy from the Belle Epoque to EDF)

By

Etienne Rogier

Introduction to all the great names of French wind energy, including Georges Darrieus, Louis Vadot, Louis Constantin, the Duke de Goyon, and Laboratoire Eiffel.

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Wind Energy in America: A History by Robert Righter

By

Paul Gipe

“The free benefit of the wind ought not be denied to any man.”

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The Land of the Living: The Danish Folk High Schools and Denmark’s Non-Violent Path to Modernization by Steven Borish

By

Paul Gipe

The book, Land of the Living, is based on Borish’s study of the Danish folkehøjskol system in the early 1980s. His book is an articulate examination of Danish culture. His theme is that Denmark could — should — be used as a model for the post modern development of the USA in what he calls, paraphrasing E.F. Schumacher, “development with a human face.”