Wind energy as the name suggests, is the energy that emanates from the wind and is converted from kinetic energy to mechanical energy by gas turbines. This converted energy is useful for carrying out mechanical works such as powering machines and automobiles without polluting the environment. Wind energy has been attracting lots of attention for a very long time as the next possible source of cheap and large energy supplies. In recent times, this attention has risen very high as the search for a zero pollution bio energy requirement intensifies. We will be exploring some very interesting facts about wind energy below.
1. The global rush to replace fossil fuels with another source of cheap and abundant natural fuel for powering human technological inventions has shifted much attention to the wind energy which is definitely in no small supply and has the ability of providing the much needed zero pollution energy solution. It is not as if wind energy hasn’t been put into good use before now, as a matter of fact, wind energy has been utilized since the 1930s in powering ships, milling grains, and to an extent in electricity generation. Just that the ever increasing demand for energy has made wind energy a more likely option for the generation of large scale electricity.
2. Wind energy is certainly the answer to the quest for a clean energy source considering the fact that each year, 1 MW of wind energy has the capacity to offset 2,600 tons of Carbon iv Oxide which is a major environmental pollutant emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels. An average home in the developed cities is said to emit about 4.5 tons of Carbon iv Oxide from the use of fuels annually. But just 1MW of wind energy has the capacity of powering over 400 homes, and you know what that means in terms of the amount of pollutant emissions hindered. Apart from stopping the emission of C02, Wind power generators help conserve water supplies as 1Mw of wind energy has the capacity of saving about 1,293 million gallons of natural fresh water.
3. One may ask what the real source of this seemingly unending and extremely powerful source of clean and absolutely free energy is, the answer is the sun. The sun is the mastermind behind the much talked about and researched wind power. The sun, as we all know, warms our planet, but due to surface irregularities and the earth’s rotation along its axis, the earth’s heating is never uniformly done by the sun. The temperature irregularities lead to varying air pressures, and air molecules are forced to migrate from areas of high pressure to areas of lower pressure thus resulting in wind generation.
4. Industries are shifting their attention to wind energy massively. In the last couple of years, as world economies plunged, the energy sector was booming and thriving like never before. The global energy production from installed wind power and turbines is now able to serve about 250 million people, with installations in over 70 countries of the world. In 2008, the United States generated enough wind energy to power the entire Colorado state which has over 5 million homes. The US is among those topping the list in the race for wind power with over 38 states out of its 50 states operating utility grade wind installations.
5. Of all the electricity generating capacities installed between 2008 and 2012, wind took a massive 36.5% and this makes wind power the fastest growing source of electricity generation in the world today. Big companies are beginning to throw in big money on investments in the budding wind power market which holds a lot of promises for great dividends in the nearest future, with big names such as Google acquiring Makani- power an energy wind farm capable of capturing high altitude winds that turn out power for 0.03$ per kilowatt hour.
6. With the US congress voting to increase the renewable energies tax credit, wind power is expected to increase by a whopping 34% over the next three years with predictions pushed over 9% higher by this votes. Of all the renewable energies, wind energy is the most economically competitive and lowest priced renewable energy. Wind energy remains the fastest growing segment of all the renewable energies sources with Germany leading the way in the list of nations using this clean and renewable energy source to generate electricity with about 8750MW being generated.
7. In 20 years, one single 1-MW wind turbine generates the same amount of electricity that would require the combustion of about 29,000 tons of coal or 92,000 petroleum barrels and using up about 60, million gallons of water from a river or stream. A large group of wind turbines are called wind farms, and they are attracting lots of attention and investments as they seem to hold the key to the future electrical energy supplies.
8. Another Interesting Facts About Wind Energy; Wind power has been around for a very long time. As far back as 200 BC, wind energy was already in use in Persia (lran), though not utilized in a large scale like we we do today.The first large scale windmill was installed in Vermont in 1941 to take advantage of England’s great winds. Countries such as US, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, etc have started harnessing the power of this windmills and turbines to solve their power and electricity problems.
9. Modern wind turbines come with three sharp blades and can speed up to 200(mph). Much smaller wind turbines are used for charging batteries and as alternative power source in sailing ships and caravans. These wind turbines are sometimes installed offshore on structures that float, with undersea cables that send the produced electricity back to the land where it is needed and utilized.
10. Some other interesting facts about wind energy is that a small turbine installed at the backyards in residential homes can serve an entire household with constant electricity supply. Electricity generation with wind energy is quite cheap since the wind in free. The only money spent is on the installation of the wind turbines. Technological advancements, mass productions, and government incentives are making these turbines much cheaper. Who wouldn’t want to harness the power of an electricity generating source with zero pollution, less dangers, and low affordability?