Wind energy facts comprehending is dependent on understanding why wind exists and the role it plays in producing energy. As long as the wind continues to blow you will have those who harness it in order to provide power and energy in their lives.
The reason that wind exists is because of the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. As hot air rises the cooler air will fall in order to fill the “gaps” that are left behind. As long as the sun is shining, you will also have wind.
History of Wind Energy
Sailors in ancient times would use the wind to power their vessels in order to discover new lands. Windmills were also utilized by farmers in order to operate grinding wheels and pump clean water. However, this is still a valuable source of power in modern times, even with all the new and innovative products that are available. For example, in the past decade alone, the use of the wind turbine has steadily increased, however still only provides a small amount of the entire world’s actual energy supply.
For a turbine to produce a substantial amount of energy it has to be a certain size. Most of the energy that is produced by wind is obtained from turbines that are at least as tall as a 20-30 story building. The blades on these structures are typically more than 200 feet long. They actually appear more like a giant airplane propeller on a stick, rather than an energy source powered by wind. However, there are also turbines that appear more like a giant egg beater; both contraptions create energy through a generator that is connected to the shaft, which is essentially turned by the wind.
Important Wind Energy Facts
Energy that is produced by the wind is considered a renewable energy source. This means that it will never run out and that it will always be available. Additionally, when compared to fossil fuels it creates it offers many additional benefits, which include:
- A pollution free source of energy.
- Extremely abundant and can be used to power a wide array of different items and energy consuming products.
Energy that is created by wind is typically used to produce electricity for a variety of purposes. Additionally, it is the most renewable source of energy that is available of all the different types.
When compared to other energy sources, including fossil fuels, wind produced energy is extremely competitive on a financial basis. In fact, it has been named one of the lowest priced sources of energy that are available for private use. Due to the low cost and vast availability of this energy source it is quickly becoming the fastest growing source of alternative energy.
Germany is the country that has the highest use of wind energy. It comprises 8750 MW of the total electrical energy that is produced in the country. Compared to the US’s 600 MW this is a substantial amount. Europe utilizes this energy source much more than the US due to the fact that this area of the world has more favorable climate conditions. Additionally, the US is so dependent on the use of fossil fuels that transitioning to alternative energy sources is still a work in process.
There are no fuel expenditures when wind energy is used, as it is virtually a changed form of the sun’s energy.
The fact is that if the US would adopt wind energy as an alternative energy source, it can be utilized in approximately 50 percent of the territories in the US. If this energy form would be used where it is viable it could relieve the fossil fuel shortage and crisis that many countries have encountered. This would not only provide a cleaner method for providing electricity, but a more cost effective one, as well.
If the area is of favorable climate, wind energy can even be a positive alternative to nuclear energy sources. Additionally, this energy source is an excellent way to provide rural areas of the country with a more economically friendly method of heating, cooling and providing electricity to their homes.
The Trend of Wind Energy
The fact is that many countries are quickly catching on to the benefits and advantages offered through wind energy sources. The leader of this trend is Europe. The simple fact is that this source of energy may be the cheapest way to produce large amounts of energy, when the area in question has favorable climate conditions. Additionally, due to the pollution free production, this is extremely appealing for countries who are suffering from serious pollution and environment problems.
Unfortunately, wind energy is not being used to its full potential on a global scale. If more countries would adopt this energy source it could effectively increase the diverseness of the energy that is use and protect non-renewable sources of energy that are quickly disappearing.
Benefits of the Long Term Energy Source
Due to its renewable nature, wind is considered a long term energy source. It can be used indefinitely as long as the sun is shining. This means that there are no more concerns of running out of power or electricity in the future, which is a real concern for countries that are highly dependent on fossil fuels for power, such as the US.
However, there are some negative wind energy facts, as well that you must be aware of in order to grasp the scope of the power source. Some of the most prevalent negative aspects of wind energy include the fact that it is extremely expensive to construct. Additionally, as the wind changes, the amount of energy that is produced is also affected. This makes it an inconsistent source of energy for many areas. However, in locations such as the prairies, it would be a highly sustainable source of energy that was able to be utilized consistently due to the continuous winds of the area.
The fact is that there will be negative aspects of any energy source you consider using. However, you must take time to determine if the pros outweigh the cons, and many people agree, those of wind energy are definitely worth the negative factors that may occur.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line of wind energy facts is that it can produce a healthier environment where ever it is used. The air will be cleaner and pollution free, which is an appealing aspect for many different countries around the world. Keep in mind, that wind energy is still a fairly new source of energy, which means that there are still many misconceptions about the power source.
There is no water or air pollution when wind energy sources are used. Additionally, once the turbines have been constructed, the wind energy is essentially free and at a cost of zero for the public. With new innovative technology wind turbines have become much cheaper to construct and are continually dropping in price. There are also many countries that are offering government incentives for taxes for new construction and development of wind turbines.
While there are some complaints from nearby residents that the turbines are noisy and ugly, the benefits that are offered, such as lower power bills have once again outweighed the negative aspects of the machines. Some of the other complaints of the devices is that the massive blades kill bats and birds, however statics have proven that many more animals are killed by cars and power lines, rather than the blades of the wind turbines.
One of the biggest factors that have to be resolved by wind turbine structures is the fact that when there is no wind, there is sub sequentially no energy produced. This causes issues, especially if the wind energy source is going to be relied on for powering large, metropolitan area. Therefore, while it may not be ideal for all area, it can provide a low cost, pollution free alternative for fossil fuels and other energy sources.
Despite the negative factors of wind energy, the industry is actually booming. In fact, between the years of 2000 and 2006 the use of this source of energy quadrupled around the world. The energy that is used in the US that is produced by wind is enough to continually power 250 homes, which is on the low end when compared to other countries. The highest wind energy producer is Germany, followed closely by Spain, the US and then India. However, other countries, such as China and France are beginning to make strides to incorporate this type of energy into their energy sources, as well.
It is estimated that by the year of 2050 that wind energy will provide up to one third of the world’s entire electricity needs. This however is destine to change if the popularity increases or new innovative methods for harnessing the winds power are developed that actually reduce the downtime of the energy source. Using this type of alternative energy is beneficial in many ways and these wind energy facts provide you with the knowledge to understand these benefits.
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