wind energy facts and figures

With an increasing amount of eyes on the World’s environment, being aware of the cost of power and how to effectively manage it within one’s life is vital for the continued success of our Mother Earth. For new homebuyers, going green could be a relatively simple investment for one’s future. Whether young or old, knowing environment facts and why action needs to be taken is essential.

Wind energy or power is the newest way to generate energy without running up an electrical bill. With the use of a generator, the use of wind can power businesses, schools or even one’s home! The concept of wind energy is nothing new; in fact, some believe that in 5000 BC several boats were propelled by the wind in the Nile.

5 Facts about Wind Power

Wind Power Facts-Early History

Society has benefited from wind power for over 6,000 years. During this time, wind power has been used for grinding grain, pumping water, and for making electricity. Early utilization of wind power included powering sailboats and ventilating buildings in the Middle East. The first useful windmills were built in Afghanistan in the 7th century. These were windmills with vertical axles, fitted with ‘sails’ that caught the wind, and rotated the axles. These early windmills were used to grind corn and to draw up water.

Wind Energy is Renewable

Get with the program people! The best thing about using wind energy is that it’s free and renewable! It also does not emit any greenhouse gases, thus not providing any more damage to our already-scarred ozone layer and environment overall. Through the use of wind turbines and other items, we can effectively use the wind as a major energy source.

While of course there are several drawbacks of using wind power including the amount of wind needed when electricity is needed or that it cannot be stored, the use of wind energy is effective and has been for several years. The placement of various turbines is another important piece to this puzzle. However, they may be located in areas where the land is already used for farming or grazing, thus implementing the area once more for something positive for the environment.

Wind power ultimately is a reality if we want the next generation (and so on) to be able to enjoy the Planet Earth that we have for several years already. In fact, in some countries, a tax deduction can be made if one implements one of several wind-powered items within one’s life.

Windmills-Early History of Electricity Producers

The first windmills for producing electricity were built in Scotland in 1887 and were introduced in the United States in 1888. By 1908, there were 72 wind power generators in operation. In the United States, windmills were used in the 1930’s for generating rural electricity on farms and ranches. During this time, steel was inexpensive, and wind generators were positioned on top of fabricated steel towers. At the beginning of World War II, the first large (1.25 megawatt) wind turbine was operated in the Vermont, USA. It failed after 1100 hours of operation due to blade failure related to material shortages during the war.

Wind Turbine Development

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Federal Government in the United States helped the wind power industry to improve the technology, and to develop large commercial wind turbines. During this time, the large wind generators set several world records for size and electrical power output. It was also during this time that building home wind generators became popular. Even though they were popular, most homeowners could not afford to build their own wind generators. States then provided tax rebates, and home wind power generation became within reach for many homeowners. The tax rebates funded wind power development for electrical utilities, resulting in the first wind farms.

Wind Power-Future Growth Projections

Wind power is now considered the fastest growing source of electrical energy in the world. In 2004, wind power accounted for 10% of the world’s energy production. By 2020, this number is expected to increase to 34%, and by 2030, wind power is projected to provide for 46% of the world’s energy. In 2010, approximately 10 million homes in the United States were utilizing wind power to generate electricity. The growth of commercial wind farms and residential wind power development are just two reasons why wind power is experiencing a growth spurt today. Coupled with solar energy, the advantages and cost savings of wind power are obvious reasons for predicting a bright future.

5 Facts about Wind Energy

Early History

Wind energy has been an important resource for over 5,000 years. In ancient Egypt, wind energy was used to provide power for sailing ships on the Nile River. Windmills were later used to grind wheat and corn. The early windmills were crude in design, resembling the paddle wheels that are seen on old-time river steamers today. In Holland, the windmill design was improved greatly, with blades that rotated, and with the ability to orient the windmill into the wind. It was the use of windmills that enabled Holland to become an industrialized nation by the 17th century.

20th Century America

In the United States, the early settlers used windmills for grinding grain, pumping water, and cutting wood. During the 1920’s, Americans used windmills to generate electricity in outlying regions that had no electricity. In fact, rural windmills can still be seen on farms and ranches today. During the 1970’s, oil shortages created a worldwide interest in alternative energy sources. Wind energy gained widespread interest in California, where state policies in the 1980’s encouraged renewable energy sources. Other states have since encouraged renewable energy development; however, California still utilizes twice the wind energy resources as other states. Today, wind energy is considered one of America’s greatest natural assets.

Wind Energy Comes from the Sun

As the sun heats the earth’s surface unevenly, the hot air rises, and the cold air moves in to create areas of high and low pressure. These pressure variations create conditions that allow the air to move from high pressure regions to low pressure regions. Therefore, wind energy is considered a form of solar energy. As long as the sun continues to shine, the wind will continue to blow, creating an unlimited supply of free, clean wind energy. About 1.5% of the sun’s energy is converted to wind energy, which can then produce enough electricity to meet three times world’s needs.

Wind Energy is Clean, Free, Renewable, & Unlimited

Because no pollutants are involved, wind energy is considered a clean source for generating electrical power. Wind energy is also totally free, and is a supply of renewable energy. It is considered renewable energy, since the source is virtually inexhaustible—as long as the sun shines, wind energy will be available. Wind energy is also considered an environmentally friendly (green) source of electrical power. Because of the unlimited nature of solar energy, the supply of wind energy is also unlimited. The facts of wind energy are that it is a clean, free, renewable, and unlimited supply of energy that can be easily used to power wind the turbines that generate electrical power.

The Potential for Wind Energy is Huge

The possibilities for using wind energy to generate electrical power in the United States are virtually unlimited. It is estimated that the wind energy potential in the US alone is approximately 37 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year which is almost 10 times our existing power need. Currently, the actual installed wind energy production capacity in the US is approximately 42,400 MW. That is enough, however, to provide the electric needs for approximately 10 million households or in other words provide the electric needs for the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee or Virginia. America’s wind power capacity grew by 15% in 2010 which resulted in 26% share of all the new US electric capacity installed for the year. Installing one wind turbine allows the average homeowner to easily reduce the cost of supplying his home with electrical power.

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