Wind power is the conversion of wind into electricity. The most common form of wind power generation uses wind turbines, which can be built at varying sizes to create varying amounts of electricity. In 2010, wind power produced 430 TWh of electricity worldwide, approximately 2.5%. The outlook for wind energy is excellent, having doubled in power produced over the past three years. In many countries, large scale wind farms have been created.
Advantages of Wind Power
Wind energy is another completely clean energy source on the basis of greenhouse gas emission. Wind turbines can also be placed in a wide variety of locations. In the U.S., wind turbines are placed in farmfields, the turbines do not create any disturbance to their surrounding environment, besides the production of noise, which makes this an ideal location. Wind turbines are also increasingly placed in the ocean, England has become fond of this technique since they have much less land mass than the U.S.
Wind power is captured fairly efficiently with todays technology, and although turbines tend to be very tall, they only take up a small plot of land at their base. Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind power to create their own supply of electricity. Wind turbines are also becoming appealing at the individual level for several reasons. Besides the marked decrease in outside electricity needed to power a home or business, in times where energy production exceeds local consumption, energy is fed back into the power grid. Today power companies increasingly pay turbine owners for the electricity fed back into the grid.
Disadvantages of Wind Power
Like many alternative energies, wind power is not always generated. Wind turbines fall mercy to local wind patterns. For this reason, areas in which wind is not very strong, or very frequent, may not benefit from the construction of wind power facilities.
Some people have very negative feelings towards wind turbines. They can be very noisy at peak power. Some people also think they are very unsightly in a countryside or generally ugly.
Today wind power technologies are very efficient however even the largest single turbine can only power about 475 homes. Therefore, in heavily populated areas, a very large amount of wind turbines may be necessary as a sole energy resource.