Wind Energy



Wind energy is currently the fastest growing form of renewable energy, and with good reason. Wind energy produces no greenhouse gases, it’s abundant, and it’s nearly cost competitive with fossil fuel energy. And unlike fossil fuels, wind energy is a domestic form of energy, meaning it is available almost everywhere.

But what exactly is wind energy? Wind is created by two forces: energy from the sun, which heats the atmosphere, and the rotation of the Earth, which sets the atmosphere in motion. Wind energy technology makes use of enormous wind driven turbine, which harness this atmospheric energy. As the wind blows, it turns the propeller blades of the wind turbine, and the spinning propeller blades generate electricity. Surprisingly, wind power is not a new form of energy. Windmills have been used for centuries to pump water and for grinding grain. But it is only in the last few decades that wind energy has been used to generate electricity.

In the United States, wind energy provides electricity for nearly 7 million homes. However, with more development, industry experts hope to use wind energy to provide 20% of the electricity used in the United States. The advances in wind technology have come primarily from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which has made wind energy nearly cost competitive with conventional energy. The next step is to begin integrating wind energy into the nation’s grid system.

Although it is a clean and renewable source of energy, there are a few disadvantages to using wind energy. One of the problems with wind energy is that it is intermittent, meaning it can’t provide a continuous source of electricity. This is because the wind itself is intermittent, always changing and shifting directions. If the wind is not blowing, no electricity is being generated, and this makes it difficult to integrate wind energy with convention sources of electricity. Also, wind turbines are often located in remote areas, miles away from the cities they power, requiring more efficient infrastructure.

Despite these difficulties, research scientists are confident that someday soon, wind energy will be a substantial source of electricity. It is clear that our current energy program can’t continue indefinitely. The overuse of fossil fuels has poisoned our atmosphere, and caused global temperatures to rise. Only by replacing harmful forms of energy with renewable energy sources can we begin to heal the damage done to our planet. 

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