wiND is A source of solar energy that does not rely on the condition of the sky. Unlike fossil fuels, wind energy can be collected during storms, snow, or the night. Wind power is the alteration of wind energy into more purposeful forms, usually electricity using wind turbines, and is a form of renewable energy. Wind power is greenhouse gas extenuating, clean, abundant, infinitely renewable, domestically produced, widely distributed, and supportive of rural economies.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that, 2000-30, global energy consumption will increase and electricity use could double, placing pressure on nonrenewable resources, public health, international stability, and the natural environment. One solution lies in finding and utilizing alternative energy sources. Renewable energy sources pose lower costs, whether environmental or health-related. The use of alternative energies to generate electricity is especially advantageous to developing countries, because of the new employment opportunities it will create, as well as the stimulation of local economies by attracting investment. One of the resources leading the way to a more sustainable future through the use of alternative energy is wind power.
People have been harvesting the wind for hundreds to thousands of years, with functions varying from sail ing, to grinding grain, to pumping water. Windmills have been found dating back to 10th century Persia, while their appearance in Europe is believed to have begun around the Middle Ages. It was not until the 20th century that people became interested in using the wind to generate electricity. In 1941, the 1,250 kilowatt (kW) Smith-Putnam wind turbine was constructed in the United States. There are records of 100 kW turbines in the former Soviet Union in 1931, and other innovative designs originating in Germany during the 1950s to the 1960s. However, after the 1950s, lower-cost fossil fuels made wind energy technology economically unprofitable, and only in the 1970s did rising fuel prices bring it back into popularity.
Was this article helpful?