Wind Energy: Some Basic Facts

Wind is one of the most abundant natural resources on earth. Wind energy is free, non-polluting and renewable. It emits no greenhouse gasses and is available 24 hours a day. The kinetic energy of wind can be transformed into many forms of energy and has a wide range of applications. It can be used to create mechanical or electrical energy. Windmills have been used for hundreds of years to pump water from wells and low-lying areas. Wind has been used to power boats for centuries. It has also long been used to grind grain. In 1990 the wind power plants in California alone offset more than 2.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

wind energy
Wind power plants have almost no negative impact on the environment. While the technology used to produce energy from the wind requires a higher initial investment compared to what is required for fossil fuel power plants, the long-term return on that investment is incredible. Not only do the wind power plants produce clean energy, the operating expenses are so low the wind power plants quickly make up for the investment. Plus, the cost of the technology has decreased dramatically each year making them less expensive to set up. Technological developments and proper placing of the wind plants has also virtually eliminated the noise the plants make and any danger operating the plants has caused to bats and birds.
Wind power plant sites are usually located far away from densely populated areas. The power they generate is stored in batteries or otherwise transported to the areas where there is the most need. Wind turbines can share land with farms and grazing flocks. That means wind power generation plants do not have to compete with farms for space. The wind energy generated by those turbines can benefit both the local community and communities far away.
Generating electricity from wind is a simple process. When the wind blows it turns the blades on wind turbines. The blades are attached to a hub on a turning shaft. The speed of the shaft is increased by running it through a gear transmission box. The transmission turns a generator and electricity is created. That electricity can be stored in batteries or routed through a transformer into the power grid. The turbines have a brake which can keep the blades from spinning too fast and damaging the apparatus should the wind get too strong. Small wind turbines can generate enough electricity to power a home or a school.
Wind blows all over the earth. That means it is a free, unlimited natural resource which people can tap into without diminishing it. A resource which although it’s invisible is tangible and transferable. Wind farms are sprouting up all over. Places like Denmark and Germany have made significant investments in and have reaped generous rewards from wind energy. But there is a lot more potential for growth. Investing in wind power goes a long way towards meeting growing energy needs while helping to improve the environment.

Category: Green Energy

Comments (1)

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  1. Kale Harmon says:

    I’ve heard the stories about how they disrupt birds and such, and of whole towns of people getting ill because of the continuous low hum. I think they need to be put in unpopulated areas and the effect on wildlife should be studied closely. It’s no good saving the earth with clean energy if we’re destroying its creatures.

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