Why Wind Energy Is Becoming The Most Popular Today

Written by: April Lunar

In today’s world there is a huge push to create more greener and renewable energy sources. One of the most popular ways to create renewable energy is through the use of wind turbines.  

What Is Wind Energy?

The most common definition of wind energy is the use of wind to generate mechanical power or electricity through the use of turbines. Wind Energy is considered solar and renewable making it a cleaner source of energy compared to traditional type power plants.

History Of Wind Energy

The concept of wind energy is nothing knew. In fact, it dates back to thousands of years ago to past civilizations. It is estimated that as far back as 5,000 B.C. wind energy was used to propel boats along the Nile River. Persians used wind energy to pump water and grind grain between 500 B.C. and 900 B.C.. The Netherlands started using windmills in roughly 1000 A.D. to help pump and drain water from the marshes and lakes in the Rhine River Delta. It is believed that the Netherlands were the first of the European countries to adopt the technology of windmills. The use of windmills and harnessing wind energy can now be seen all over the world. 

Modern Wind Energy Today 

In today’s world, wind turbines are doing a lot more than pumping water into stock tanks on ranches or grinding grain. They are generating electricity to homes and lighting up cities. At the end of 2018, the U.S. generated 96,433 mega watts of electrical power using wind turbines. This capacity is estimated to power roughly 25 million average homes making the U.S. the largest user of wind electrical power technology. In 14 U.S. states, generated wind electricity accounts for more than 10 percent of it’s total electricity grid. In Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma wind generated electricity consists of more than 30 percent of their power grid. 

In 2016, Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to build an off shore wind farm. Off shore wind farms provide a great way to create energy for highly populated coastal cities. 

The Advantages Of Wind Energy

Wind generated electrical energy has many advantages with the main one being clean and renewable when compared to traditional coal or nuclear plants. Wind is unlimited and will never run out. Wind energy doesn’t use natural resources or create the levels of pollution that traditional power plants do. The cost of generating wind energy over time is a lot lower compared to typical power plants which means some electric providers could lower the cost their consumers pay on their electric bills. Wind based electricity generally averages around 6 to 8 cents per kilowatt compared to the average of 12 cents per kilowatt from coal or nuclear plants.

Another great advantage that has been created from the growing popularity of wind energy is job creation and economic growth. Most wind turbine components are made in America, and there are roughly 500 wind related manufacturing facilities throughout the states. These facilities are estimated to be employing more than 114,000 people.

Disadvantages Of Wind Energy

Like everything there are a few disadvantages of wind generated energy. For starters, the cost to build and install the wind turbines can be very costly up front. The turbines can also pose a risk for wildlife such as birds that fly into them and get killed or hurt. Turbines can also generate loud noise at times which can factor into noise pollution. Some people also see windmills and wind farms as eye pollution and ruining natural landscapes. The main disadvantage to wind energy is that wind fluctuates and depending on the area there may not be enough wind to generate significant energy to create power.

How The Wind Turbines Work

The wind turbines installed to generate electricity from wind are very big. The average tower is 290 feet tall which is about the height of the Statue Of Liberty. The turbine blades, which generally consist of three average about 184 feet long. The reason that the towers are so tall is that wind speed is generally greater the more higher up in the air. This is also why many wind turbine towers are built on hills and mountains. Higher wind speed equals more energy powered which in return equals more electricity to power the grid.

The concept of turning wind into energy or electricity through the use of a turbine is a pretty simple one really. Wind turns the propeller like blades of the turbine around a rotor much like how a helicopter operates or propellers of an airplane. When wind flows over the blades it creates an aerodynamic force that spins the generator to create the electricity. The electricity is then carried from the turbine to the transmission substation. The transmission substation converts the electricity into extremely high voltage generally between 155,000 and 765,000 volts to allow for long distance travel on the power grid. The power grid consist of your typical power lines that connect demand centers to the power sources. Power substations will then convert the high voltage electricity to a lower voltage of about 10,000 where it will be able to connect to consumers.

Wind Energy’s Future

The future of wind energy looks very bright. New turbines and wind farms are going up not only in the states, but all over the world all the time. With the push for cleaner and greener energy sources, wind energy will be leading the way for many years to come.


Related Posts

Why Wind Energy Is Becoming The Most Popular Today

Share Tweet