What is Wind Power?
Wind Power or wind energy is the process of which wind is used to generate electricity by converting the kinetic energy in the wind through the wind turbines. Since the beginning of 5000 B.C., wind power has been able to facilitate progress and growth through the constant innovations in technology. This introduction to wind power helped out people along the Nile River to propel the boats down the river.
Today, wind power has done more than help sail ships, it has brought clean energy into hundreds of millions of homes around the world. Onshore and Offshore wind farms has been advantageous for the world because it’s helped save over 637 millions tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. By 2020, the United Nations aims to prevent 1.5 billion tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere through Wind Power.
Why Wind Power?
Wind Power is one of the cheapest renewable energy sources that has a growing presence around the world in wind power farms. Onshore Wind Power farms can easily generate over 6 million kWh of energy annually. This is important to note because as we rise with renewable sources like Wind Power, we can begin to eliminate the need for non-renewable energy sources - the main culprits to climate change.
The recent Paris Climate Change Conference was visited by over 190 countries who pledged to increase their usage of renewable energy sources to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The conference stated that the power sector is the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions which has caused the majority of air pollution.
According to the World Health Organization, pollution is one of the biggest threats to humanity - surpassing HIV and Ebola. The majority of our air pollution results from burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas, gasoline, coal in order to create energy and power our daily appliances. With only 70 nations pledging to begin or continue operations in Wind Power farms, we can significantly reduce the amount of pollution in the air.
Wind Power Leaders
In 2016, over 112 billion dollars has been invested into Wind Power making it one of the fastest growing business segments in the world. This billion dollar industry brings many investors and nations together in order to facilitate the progress in bringing clean energy.
China has been one of the leading nations with the largest capacity of wind power being able to produce 145,104 MWh. That means that China can bring power to over 23 million homes across its nation; however, that’s if they powered their turbines at full potential.
Although China has the largest capacity, it continues to be one of the leading nations emitting Greenhouse gasses - increasing pollution to the atmosphere. The Air Quality Index reveals that China measures at 190 micrograms per cubic meter which are considered “unhealthy” and can have extreme effects on the health.
This is why renewable energy sources, like wind power, can improve the health of its people significantly. In 2016, almost 90% of all new power in Europe was produced and gathered through renewable sources - a large majority of offshore wind farms. The United Kingdom has been one of the leading nations providing renewable energy through its offshore wind production. With over 29 offshore wind farms, the United Kingdom has the capacity to generate over 5.1 GW of energy. Recently, the UK confirmed to invest 730 million pounds towards renewable energy increasing the number of wind power capacity in the UK.
The Future of Wind Power Energy
Renewable sources will continue to be an essential component to transition societies into a cleaner, greener, and pollution-free environment for all. Wind power technology continues to innovate and seek effective ways to gather energy and distribute it efficiently to the public.
In order to improve Wind Power production, researchers have been designing different ways to create the wind turbines. Researchers at MIT developed a Buoyant Airborne Turbine, a dirigible design that can reach altitudes up to 600m and can send electricity to storage or the grid.
According to scientists, they estimate that US wind turbines kill over 328,000 birds annually. This troubling issue inspired companies like Tunisian startup Tyler Wind, to develop the Hummingbird turbine that occupies less space and slower speed. This turbine will be an effective resolution to help save birds and continue the innovation for better wind power technology.
Cities will continue to grow, people will continue to come, and renewable energy will continue to be necessary to manage our energy efficiently and effectively. With the development of Smart Cities, the power of Wind Farms and other renewable energy sources will be incorporated into the next city government projects to transform cities into a cleaner, efficient, and effective IoT(Internet of Things) cities.