WIND 2300
Social Impacts of Wind Energy

Western Texas College

  1. Course Information
    1. Course Description: Provides an in-depth look at environmental, economic, and health issues of wind energy versus traditional fuels. The course also includes a study of national security and political impacts of wind energy.
    2. Prerequisites:  No prerequisites exist except to be able to read and write on the college level. This class is reading and writing intensive.
    3.  Required grade for enrolling in the next course in this sequence:  None
    4. Students must receive a grade of a C or better to be able to enroll in WE 4310 at Texas Tech.
  2. Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. Describe and evaluate the history and development of wind energy in meeting global energy goals and reducing emission based off climate change and energy policies.
    2. Distinguish between the environmental/ecological impacts of wind energy as compared to other non-renewable energy sources of energy.
    3. Identify and critique alternative explanations for claims about social issues and human behavior.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate methods, technologies, and data that social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the impact of human conditions.
    5. Discus and extrapolate the impact of renewable energy technologies across the product life cycle: from producing turbines to the generation of electric power.
  3. Testing Requirements
    1. Campus/Online
      1. The final exam must be proctored by your professor or an approved testing organization.  (Ask you instructor for more details.)
      2. Students are allowed to use their book and notes while taking their quizzes, mid-term and final exam.
      3. All quizzes, mid-terms and final exams are timed.
  4. Course Requirements
    1.  Campus/Online
      1. There will be a mid-term exam.
      2. There will be a comprehensive final exam.
      3. There will two project-based learning activities.
      4. A portion of the student's grade is tied to participation and attendance
  5. Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Required Book:  Wind Energy Essentials: Societal, Economic, and Environmental Impacts by Richard Walker and Andrew Swift ISBN: 978-1-118-87789-0
  6. Grading Breakdown:
    1. Campus /Online







      Projects (12.5% each)




      Final exam


  7. Other Policies, Procedures and important dates. Please refer to the WTC Catalog for the following
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final exam schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity - Students will come to class prepared to participate in the learning process and that part of this preparation will include the demonstration of mature and purposeful behavior. The College Code of Conduct and College Academic Integrity Policies will be followed with no exceptions.
    6. Students with disabilities - As perOP 34.22, any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements inorder to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements.  Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor’s office hours.  Please note instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. 
  8. Course Content

Unit 1  - Background of  Wind Energy

Defining Social Impacts
2015 AWEA Annual Report
Impacts of Energy and Electricity on Society
Overview of Wind energy and Other Sources of Electricity
The Basics of Electricity
Conversion of Power in the Wind to Electricity
Overview of Issues Faced by Wind Energy

Unit 2 – Wind Development and Considerations

The Wind Energy Development Process
Legal Consideration for Wind Farm Development
Wind and Wildlife: Siting Issues and Challenges
Environmental and Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy on Humans: Public Health

Unit 3 – Wind Siting Issues

Environmental and Ecological Impacts of Wind Energy: Public and Workforce Safety
Wind Energy’s Impact on Aviation, Radar, and Telecommunications
Other Environmental Issues of Wind Energy Development
Impact of Wind energy on the Electric Grid

Unit 4 – Non-renewable Issues

Non-Wind Renewable Energy Sources Used to Meet Electricity Needs
Non-Renewable Energy Sources
Energy Efficiency and Conservation “Less is More” and “Doing Without”
Future Wind Energy Issues                    


Last Modified: August 25, 2017