Windy, Wind Energy

CJ Shelton

How is wind energy used to generate electricity?

Wind power converts the kinetic energy in wind to generate electricity or mechanical power. This is done by using a large wind turbine usually consisting of propellers; the turbine can be connected to a generator to generate electricity, or the wind used as mechanical power to perform tasks such as pumping water or grinding grain. As the wind passes the turbines it moves the blades, which spins the shaft.

What are the environmental impacts of wind energy?

Pros: Building and maintaining wind turbines costs money but no one pays for the wind itself.

Cons: Wind turbines blades batter birds, killing 20,000 to 37,000 a year.

What are the economic impacts of wind energy?

Pros: Wind energy can diversify the economies of rural communities, adding to the tax base and providing new types of income. Wind turbines can add a new source of property taxes in rural areas that otherwise have a hard time attracting new industry. Each 100 MW of wind development in southwest Minnesota has generated about $1 million per year in property tax revenue and about $250,000 per year in direct lease payments to landowners.

Cons: Shadow flicker occurs when the blades of the rotor cast a shadow as they turn. Research has shown the worst-case conditions would affect, by way of light alteration, neighboring residents a total of 100 minutes per year, and only 20 minutes per year under normal circumstances. Designers of wind farms avoid placing turbines in locations where shadow flicker would be a problem any significant amount of time.

How much does it cost per kWh?

2.5 cents per kWh

What countries frequently use wind energy?

China, Spain, Germany, India, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Brazil all use wind energy.

What percentage is it used in the United States?

Wind energy generates about 4.4% of the country’s electricity.

What are the most common applications for wind energy?

Wind farms are created when multiple wind turbines are placed in the same location for the purpose of generating large amounts of electric power. Due to rising energy prices and the resultant search for alternatives, there are now thousands of wind farms in many countries around the world. There is still a lot of controversy surrounding the pros and cons of wind power and its local impact. The articles listed on this page explore news and information about wind farms.
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"Wind Farms." AENews. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

"Allianz." Top Ten Wind Power Countries. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

"Pros & Cons of Wind Energy." Windustry. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

"US Wind Energy Selling At Record Low Price of 2.5 Cents per KWh." - Renewable Energy World. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

"News." How Does a Wind Turbine Generate Electricity. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

"Positive & Negative Facts About Wind Energy." Home Guides. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.