March 13, 2022
Interesting acts of wind energy
Wind Energy is one of the fastest growing and most widely used sources of renewable energy on the planet, and for a good reason! It’s a clean source of power that causes minimal pollution and mass production, government subsidies and advancements in turbine technology are making it more affordable than ever before.
The popularisation of Wind Energy is not an entirely new thing, however. This natural resource has been harnessed for millennia. The Babylonians and Chinese were using wind power to pump water for irrigating crops 4,000 years ago, and sailing boats were around long before that.
So, here are some more unusual facts about wind power that might surprise you.
As turbine blades are spun by air flow, the turbines convert the potential energy in the air into the electricity we use to power our homes and businesses. Wind Energy is one of the most popular forms of alternative energy and accounts for most new energy plants built in the last year.
With their increasing popularity and the rise of offshore wind farming, wind energy is going to play a key component in the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. To help you understand the benefits of wind energy, here are 21 things you probably didn’t know:
Wind Energy was first developed with windmills in 200 BC in Persia and China.
Wind Energy was then used for hundreds of years to pump water and crush grain. People also used sails on sail boats as a form of wind power.
The first modern turbine was built in Vermont in the 1940s.
Turbine towers normally stand over 328 ft tall. That’s taller than the statue of liberty.
Each turbine blade is normally 260 ft long.
Newer, more advanced turbine blades are extending over 300 feet.
The largest turbine created is located in Hawaii. It is twenty stories tall and each blade is the length of a football field.
Wind Energy is the only form of alternative energy that doesn’t require water.
Turbines are getting taller to reach faster, more constant winds higher in the atmosphere. The higher you go the faster the winds and the more energy that can be produced!
The US Energy Department provides a wind resource map that shows average wind speeds and potential Wind Energy capacity if you want to install a wind turbine in your area.
The US has over 500 wind turbine manufacturing plants that produce a majority of our turbines and employ 73,000 people.
There are wind turbines in over 38 states.
Potential offshore wind turbines have the capacity to produce four times more electricity than the US electrical grid can accommodate. This makes offshore Wind Energy a great solution for densely populated coastal cities.
China produces the most Wind Energy in the world. The United States closely follows as the second largest Wind Energy producer.
Wind Energy accounts for more than a third of all newly installed US electricity generators.
A single commercial turbine can power 600 homes.
One small turbine in your backyard could power your home.
In 2014, enough Wind Energy was produced to power more than 17.5 US homes annually. Thats every home in Alaska, California, Delaware, DC, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont combined.
That’s also 25 times more energy than was being produced by wind turbines in 2000.
Wind Energy is extremely affordable. In 2014 Wind Energy was being sold for as low as 2.35 cents.
In 2015, the United States planned to reduce 12.3 gigatons of greenhouse gases and save 260 billion gallons of water by increasing the use of Wind Energy to power homes, schools, and businesses.
Human civilizations have harnessed wind power for thousands of years. Early forms of windmills used wind to crush grain or pump water. Now, modern wind turbines use the wind to create electricity. Learn how a wind turbine works.
Today’s wind turbines are much more complicated machines than the traditional prairie windmill. A wind turbine has as many as 8,000 different components.
Wind turbines are big. Wind turbine blades average almost 200 feet long, and turbine towers average 295 feet tall—about the height of the Statue of Liberty. The average nameplate capacity of turbines is also increasing, meaning they have more powerful generators. The average capacity of utility-scale wind turbines installed in 2020 was 2.75 megawatts (MW), up 8% from the previous year.
Higher wind speeds mean more electricity, and wind turbines are getting taller to reach higher heights above ground level where it’s even windier. See the Energy Department’s wind resource maps to find average wind speeds in your state or hometown and learn more about opportunities for taller wind turbines in a report from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Most of the components of wind turbines installed in the United States are manufactured here. There are more than 530 wind-related manufacturing facilities located across 43 states, and the U.S. wind industry currently employs more than 116,000 people.
Offshore wind represents a major opportunity to provide power to highly populated coastal cities. There are small projects installed off the coasts of Rhode Island and Virginia, and the first commercial-scale project has been approved for installation off the coast of Massachusetts. See what the Energy Department is doing to develop offshore wind in the United States.
There is utility-scale wind power (from turbines over 100 kilowatts) installed in 41 states. There is distributed wind installed in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The United States’ wind power capacity was about 122,000 megawatts at the end of 2020, making it the largest renewable energy source in the United States. In 2020, U.S. wind power capacity additions equaled 17 MW. This growth represented $24.6 billion in investment in new wind power project installations in 2020.
Wind Energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in the last few years and levelized wind prices (the price the utility pays to buy power from a wind farm) are 2–4 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Wind Energy provides more than 10% of total electricity generation in 16 states, and more than 30% in Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Overall, Wind Energy supplied more than 8% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2020.