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With the exciting progress of wireless sensor networks (WSN), a major difficulty will be faced in that the limited frequency spectrum, even with the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) bands, will be extremely crowded. Moreover purchasing spectrum rights with millions or billions of dollars is unreasonable under an emphasis on low-cost to WSN. Thus an alternate method based on the concept of cognitive radio is explored to capture spectrum for WSN. A cooperative energy detection technique is introduced. The probabilities of detection of proposed technique are evaluated over some classical fading channels. The quantization case is also considered for practicality. The simulation results show that the quantization case exhibits almost comparable performance with the optimum Neyman-Pearson detector, while it has much less overhead.