Wind Energy Facts

Paul asks…

What is wind energies future?

I am doing a power point for school and i needed to know about wind energies past and future. Some examples of wind energy is windmills, sailboats, ect. please let me know if you know anything about its future. thankss

Windmill Farms answers:

In the near future, wind energy will be the most cost effective source of electrical power. In fact, a good case can be made for saying that it already has achieved this status. The actual life cycle cost of fossil fuels (from mining and extraction to transport to use technology to environmental impact to political costs and impacts, etc.) is not really known, but it is certainly far more than the current wholesale rates. The eventual depletion of these energy sources will entail rapid escalations in price which — averaged over the brief period of their use — will result in postponed actual costs that would be unacceptable by present standards. And this doesn’t even consider the environmental and political costs of fossil fuels use that are silently and not-so-silently mounting every day.

The major technology developments enabling wind power commercialization have already been made. There will be infinite refinements and improvements, of course. One can guess (based on experience with other technologies) that the eventual push to full commercialization and deployment of the technology will happen in a manner that no one can imagine today. There will be a “weather change” in the marketplace, or a “killer application” somewhere that will put several key companies or financial organizations in a position to profit. They will take advantage of public interest, the political and economic climate, and emotional or marketing factors to position wind energy technology (developed in a long lineage from the Chinese and the Persians to the present wind energy researchers and developers) for its next round of development.

Robert asks…

Solar vs Wind energy?

Ok so for a class im taking we have debate groups and the topic was energy‘s. Well my group picked Solar energy and we are going to debate with wind energy to see who’s energy is the better one. I already have some good reasons on why Solar is better the wind and how wind could be bad but i feel like i really need more very good strong true facts on how SOLAR is BETTER then wind energy. I really need someones help. If my group wins the debate then we can get a good grade. Find really bad things about wind that we can use in the debate that they WONT be able to fight back and some good things about solar they cant fight. PLEASE HELP ME..thank you so much for anyone for helping me..thank u.

Windmill Farms answers:

It is truly not a case of one or the other. Neither is efficient enough to solve the world’s energy problem and save us from the looming catastrophy. Our energy problem is a complex problem, driven by a wide variety of factors. And solving that problem will require a combination of solutions, which will undoubtable include both wind and solar energy.
I wish you luck in your debate, but your energies would be better used in solving the problem, rather than be distracted by petty questions such as “Which Is Better”.
These are serious times and you need to be debating serious subjects. I question the judgement of the individual who picked the subject for your debate. Was it a fellow student?

Chris asks…

Uses of wind energy for science project.?

I am in science class and we are reseaching how to use and hold wind energy. Can anyone give me links to sites i can use?

Windmill Farms answers:

These are the benefits or uses of wind energy:

Humans already recognized the many advantages of wind energy in their livelihood since history embarked. From the earliest civilizations up to now, people are harnessing the forces of nature like wind energy which they found to be very useful. They were able to mechanize it through the use of big furnaces for cooking, windmills in grinding grains and pumping up water, sails to steer their sailboats and now leveled up to the power-generating machines called wind turbines.

From homes and residential areas, to business and government infrastructures, wind turbines can be found almost everywhere and are now widely used today. Why so? It is because of an ample importance they found from using wind turbines like the following:

A low-cost alternative energy source

If compared to many other forms of energy, such as fossil fuels, solar panels or nuclear technology, wind turbines are a low-cost alternative. Small wind turbines producing five to fifteen kilowatts per hour and amounting from $6,000 to $22,000 can now be purchased and installed at home or residential areas. This makes an average home to save 50 to 90 percent off its electric bill each month, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In fact, many people who build wind turbines earned more from selling excess electricity to the power company every month. Commercial and industrial companies take more advantage from using this technology. According to the Windustry Organization, the cost for a commercial-scale wind turbine was roughly $3.5 million installed in the year 2007. This means that these wind turbines produce 2 megawatts of electricity per hour which is more than enough to power 1,400 homes for one year.

A completely renewable resource

Among the many benefits, the greatest advantage in using wind power is its attribute of being a completely renewable resource. Although the need and usage of this technology is varying in degree in different countries around the world, wind is always present and a permanent phenomenon on earth. When the radiation from the sun creates a convection cycle in the air that flows upward, it causes the blowing wind. And since wind power can be harnessed through this very natural process, the volume of electricity is limited only by the speed and recurrence of the wind. This actually means that as long as the sun exists, wind power can be perpetually harnessed.

Free from drawback of toxic gas emission

Another great advantage of using wind energy is that it produces no waste product unlike other energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power. According to the United States Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy triggers an enormous production of carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions that are polluting the atmosphere and contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. Reports from the World Energy Council said that these emissions have been too hazardous and are responsible for global climate change and its adverse effects.

Risk-free from radioactive reactions

Using wind energy is always said to be environment friendly, unlike the nuclear power that has the drawback of waste disposal. Nuclear power plants generate nuclear reactions that create radioactive materials as a byproduct which are very hard to dispose. Specialized vaults need to be constructed to house the spent fuel rods and used radiation suits in order to prevent contamination of water and soil, as well as people from intoxicated byproducts of nuclear plants. Without carbon emissions or radiation being produced, wind energy has the advantage of being harnessed and used.

Almost infinitely sustainable

Wind turbines are invented to realize the advantage of using wind energy for sustainability. In fact, many consider that one great quality of wind energy is that it is almost infinitely sustainable. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas will eventually be completely mined from the earth. Geothermal energy uses the stored heat energy accumulated from years of solar radiation. This will eventually be used to its maximum as well. But wind will never stop as long as there is life on the earth and the sun still exists.

A potential source to power the entire planet

Many in-depth engineering and scientific research report that wind energy is a very promising energy source by having the potential of powering the entire planet and sustaining the need of the growing population. Most of us know that wind turbines can be placed essentially anywhere – on flat lands, above the ocean or on mountains. This gives wind the advantage of being a universal energy source used by every country in the world. The World Energy Council reported that wind energy supplies one percent of the world’s power. However, many European countries, such as Denmark, obtain nearly twenty percent of their country’s needs.

Sandra asks…

If the US growth rate for wind energy continued at 20% per year, how long would it take for all our electricit?

If the US growth rate for wind energy continued at 20% per year, how long
would it take for all our electricity be provided by wind?

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Cam, Raymond has some good figures there as far as growth being exponential, it has been the last 4 years or so. But we are nowhere near 50% now, last check, at the end of 2010 we were at just under 4% wind power. It’s a bit of a moving target with seasonal wind changes and utilities bringing more online each day. But if we were at 6% at the beginning of 2012, then adding 20%, or multiplying that figure by 1.2 each year, it would take 14.5 years.

We will never reach even half that far however. A really good parallel to this is hydropower. Back in the depression, the government was busy hiring people to put in really large power stations, like Hoover Dam and the Columbia River Project. There were numbers thrown around in the late 30′s that estimated we would be totally hydro powered by the year 1944. Well we never made it past 20%, and in fact that number is falling today, not because we are losing hydro power stations, but our grid usage continues to trend slowly upward as we add more people to the globe. Hydropower station output is relatively flat. The main reason for this is all the really good places to put a dam are already used up. The next one we build will be in a place a bit harder to get to, and that produces less power than the last one. Each subsequent one will be even less attractive. It’s like a farmer making use of his acreage, he will certainly plant corn in the high, dry but easily irrigated plot first. As his farm expands, he begins to make use of land that is less fertile, or more swampy than the last, until at the end the only land he has left is almost useless for agriculture.

Wind is no different, we certainly put the first turbines in good windy locations, that were not far from the power grid and not in peoples backyards. As time wears on, we are putting more and more turbines up, each one in a slightly less attractive location than the last. In just a couple years, the 20% growth rate will begin to fade slowly as fewer and fewer good windy locations are left, and the power companies are left to decide between the ones that don’t offer as good of a payback, and paying for more natural gas stations instead. The market forces will decide these things for us. There was an interesting study done in the Netherlands a couple years ago looking only at the economic ramifications of wind turbines versus other power sources. Obviously, the other sources have moving economic targets as well, but basically, it said once the globe reaches around 22% wind power, it would not be economically attractive to build more. I didn’t say not economically feasible, just not attractive. There might be other reasons to spend slightly more on wind, such as environmental or security reasons, but it will come at a price.

You could look at our home as another example. We have the grid where we live, but still we spent the time and money 12 years ago to install a solar array and wind turbine. Now our home produces about 94% of its own electricity. It’s nice, but to be honest, we would probably have been slightly further ahead in dollar terms if we put that $12,000 USD in long term bonds back then instead of against our electric bill. There is the fact that our home has not been without power for even a minute the last 12 years, while our community probably faces 2 to 3 outages per year, each lasting from several hours to several days. It’s hard to put a price on that, and in most cases people don’t even try, they only look at the financial payback of such a system. Wouldn’t it be nice the next time a war started in the Middle East if our country got most of its power from local sources. It would be even nicer still if they didn’t have to burn coal, oil or natural gas to make it. Those would be environmental and security benefits, and they don’t generally factor in when people, be they home owners or politicians, make decisions. The question is, what would you do if you were King? Take care Cam, Rudydoo

Jenny asks…

how does wind energy system work?

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind is a reliable energy source and the studies of its use is taking off. Wind energy system converts the power of the wind into turning a turbine which generates electricity.

Wind energy is starting to be more economical based on the conversion factor. It is growing at a rate of 37%. The cost of wind power has dropped 5 times over a period of about 8yr’s.
Truly a very good source of energy which can replace fossil fuel.

Read the following for all the facts and figures on Wind Power.

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