Wind power is an alternative energy source that can in some places be used instead of conventional fossil fuels in order to provide usable energy. This then is a more eco-friendly form of energy as it doesn’t use up our natural resources or create unwanted risk or emissions. This is because wind power is ‘renewable’ meaning that you are not using it in such a way that it can’t be re-used and meaning that it is limitless in supply – as long as the Earth is around, we’ll have wind power.
This is in contrast to our fossil fuels that we currently burn for energy such as oil, petrol and coal. These are power sources that are gradually running out, and with the world currently so dependent on them for energy it’s highly important that we make the switch to forms such as wind power and solar energy. At the same time fossil fuels when burned release carbon, methane and water vapor emissions into the atmosphere – the substances which have created the ‘greenhouse gasses’ and which trap heat from the sun and cause global warming. As we know, this effect is responsible for many serious atrocities such as the dying out of the coral reefs, the extinction of thousands of species, changes in global climate and a higher incidence of natural disasters – so the sooner we stop relying on these fuels the better.
Because wind power is renewable and limitless it is free to use once the set up costs are out the way and it is something we can use with a clear conscious and with no negative press. As such more and more companies and governments are encouraging the use of wind power and currently wind turbines accounts fro roughly 340 TWh which is roughly 2% of the earth’s electrical usage. Wind turbines look similar to windmills and work by harvesting the wind’s energy using large fans and then using the kinetic energy gathered by their rotation in order to generate turbines which convert this movement into energy.
However wind turbines are not the only way of harnessing wind power and actually the energy gathered from the wind is likely to be higher than this number. For instance windmills work for mechanical power – using the kinetic energy in order to drive mechanisms with a range of uses, which wind pumps use the energy in order to pump water or to drains. You might even have used wind power yourself if you’ve ever been on a boat – many of which use sails in order to capture this energy and convert it into movement for transport purposes. Even a kite represents a way of utilizing the energy that comes from the wind and acts as a smart demonstration of its possibilities.
For this reason roughly 80 countries around the globe are using wind power for commercial and industrial purposes and in countries such as Denmark it accounts for 20% of stationary electricity production. This is as a result of large ‘wind farms’ that are connected to electrical power transmission networks. Many companies use these wind farms as a ‘back up’ supply of energy in case of electrical failure. Meanwhile smaller wind turbines can be purchased to be used for home utilities.
While wind power might be slightly more of a challenge to harness and might be slightly less powerful, it is also highly abundant and completely free and has been right here on our doorstep since the birth of the planet and is suitable for many applications.