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Wind Energy Timeline

windmills world develop renewable

500-900 AD
The Persians develop windmills to crush grain and pump water.

Late 1100s
The English develop windmills to crush grain.

1300s
The Dutch develop windmills to drain water from low-lying areas.

1600s
The Dutch colonize New Amsterdam (now New York City) and introduce their windmill designs to the New World.

1800s
Windmills begin to dot the American Great Plains as the railroad and settlers move westward.

1888
Charles Brush builds the first electricity-generating windmill in Cleveland, Ohio. Later, General Electric buys his company.

1920s
Wind turbines generate electricity for thousands of rural areas across the Great Plains.

1941
The world's first megawatt-size wind turbine operates in Vermont.

1970s
The U.S. government and NASA work together to improve wind turbine technology.

1971
The world's first offshore wind farm operates off the coast of Denmark.

1973
The price of oil increases causing great interest in renewable energies.

1977
The United States Department of Energy forms.

Operation of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (formally Solar Energy Research Institute) begins in Boulder, Colorado.

1980s
The U.S. government provides tax credits for the use of renewable energies.

California wind farms power 250,000 homes.

1990s
More efficient wind turbines replace early models in California.

2000s
Interest in wind energy grows as fossil fuel prices increase and their supplies decrease.

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