The Buffalo Bills football team has just installed a set of new micro wind turbines at Ralph Wilson Stadium, to harvest clean, renewable energy from Buffalo’s notorious winter winds. Though the installation is fairly modest compared to the Philadelphia Eagles’ new wind turbines, it does demonstrate how professional football has joined NASCAR, major league baseball, hockey, and other popular sports in a kind of stealth campaign to promote public support for alternative energy.
Sports and Sustainability
It’s safe to say (hopefully), that alternative energy is no longer mainly associated with alternative, off-grid lifestyles, and part of the credit has to go to the professional sports industry. The NFL in particular has been introducing the public to sustainability concepts for years with its green Superbowl, one of the highest-visibility sporting events on Earth. In short, millions of Americans are getting exposed to alternative energy right where they feel most at home – a far more effective approach than any ad campaign could have.
Showcasing Wind Power
The Buffalo Bills’ micro wind turbine installation may disappoint some wind power fans, since it consists of only a few turbines, and they are only scheduled to be in place for about a year and a half. That pales in comparison to the Eagles, who rimmed the top edge of their stadium with 80 permanent, futuristic looking micro turbines. However, the Bills’ installation is located right below a large scoreboard, squarely in the spot where all eyes will turn every few seconds. It might be a modest installation but the team is getting a lot of bang for its buck, and that may encourage other outdoor sports venues to get into the wind power game at least on a small scale.
Clean, Renewable Energy for All
President Obama has committed federal resources to achieving solar and wind power as cheap as fossil fuels, and more Americans in the armed services are experiencing alternative energy in many forms, from permanent installations at bases to portable solar-in-a-backpack kits for field use. As the benefits of wind power and other renewables reach more people, arguments in favor of continuing our fossil fuel dependency are crumbling.