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What is wind energy?

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy.Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels ,is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. Any effects on the environment are generally less problematic than those from other power sources.

How it works?

Power generation from winds usually comes from winds very close to the surface of the earth.Wind turbines for grid electricity need to be especially efficient at greater wind speeds. A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electricity. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • In many areas, the winds strength is too low to support a wind turbine or wind farm, and this is where the use of solar power or geothermal power could be great alternatives.
  • Electricity generated from wind power can be highly variable at several different timescales: hourly, daily, or seasonally.
  • The noise pollution from commercial wind turbines is sometimes similar to a small jet engine.
     
  • Countryside should be left in tact for everyone to enjoy it's beauty.
  • Wind is always in constant supply somewhere, making it a dependable source of energy because it will never expire or become extinct.
  • Wind power has low ongoing costs, but a moderate capital cost.
  • The marginal cost of wind energy once a plant is constructed is usually less than 1 cent per kW·h.As wind turbine technology improves, costs are coming down.
  • Wind project capital and maintenance costs have continued to decline.

Usage around the world

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Worldwide there are now many thousands of wind turbines operating, with a total nameplate capacity of 238,351 MW as of end 2011. The European Union alone passed some 100,000 MW nameplate capacity in September 2012, while US surpassed 50,000 MW in August 2012 and State Grid of China passed 50,000 MW the same month. World wind generation capacity more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006, doubling about every three years. The United States pioneered wind farms and led the world in installed capacity in the 1980s and into the 1990s.China has been rapidly expanding its wind installations in the late 2000s and passed the US in 2010 to become the world leader.