Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Interesting trivia about wind energy

People started harnessing wind energy a long time ago. In fact, ancient Egyptians used wind energy to propel the sails of their boats on the Nile River some 5000 years B.C.

US has enormous wind energy potential. If the country was to transform all of its untapped wind energy potential into electricity it would be enough to power the entire country tenfold.

US is together with China the world's largest wind energy producer. Wind energy currently supplies electricity to around 15 million US homes, and the total installed capacity is bigger than 60,000 MW.

US is also becoming major wind turbine manufacturer. In the last three years, three quarters of total turbine equipment used for new wind farms in US were made in US. Manufacturing sector, of course, creates new, well paid jobs.

The top speeds that can be reached by blades on modern wind turbines climb above 200 miles per hour.

The share of wind energy in global electricity usage is still negligible, at around 3% of total electricity usage coming from wind turbines. There is still rapid growth though, because 20 years ago wind energy generated less than 0,1 % of total global electricity.

Wind energy can also be harnessed offshore. Large offshore wind farms are already spreading in many countries of the world, most notably Great Britain and Denmark.

Wind energy is an intermittent energy source because wind doesn't blow all the time. This means that there has to be an adequate energy storage solution to cover the time when there isn't enough wind to move turbines.

Wind energy is one of the most cost-competitive clean energy sources.

Though wind turbines have been reported to kill birds, the environmental damage done by wind turbines is negligible compared to damage to our environment that is being done by fossil fuels, in form of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.