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Wind Power: Our Top Facts

shutterstock_110700254As the world’s resources of non-renewable energies are fast depleting, there is growing interest and research into renewable sources. One of the fastest growing alternatives is wind power, which happens to be one of the cleanest and safest methods of generating electricity.

Wind is basically the movement of air between high and low pressure areas. It is actually caused by uneven heating of the earth (from the sun), which results in hot air rising and cool air flowing as a consequence. Wind power is generally harnessed by way of turbines, which capture the wind and turn it into rotational energy. This is subsequently turned into electricity by utilising a generator.

In order to convert this electricity to an appropriate voltage to run Australian household appliances, a transformer is used.

Here are some things that you may not know about this powerful energy source.

Wind is one of the oldest forms of energy – Wind power has apparently been used since 2000BC. The earliest known use was to power sails, initially for the obvious use of boats but eventually inspiring innovation that saw sails used to create windmills and farms.

Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity generation in the world – At times, wind is considered to provide up to 25% of the world’s electricity.

Birds are considered to be one of the biggest risks of wind farms – These large, powerful turbines pose a real threat to birdlife, and this has been an area of controversy worldwide. However, research has now shown that the effect on bird life is not as high as thought.

Wind power is actually solar power – As mentioned earlier, winds are caused by uneven heating of the earth’s surface. This is caused by the sun, so it’s safe to say that without the sun, wind power would not exist.

shutterstock_106660442Wind turbines are huge – Pictures may not show the sheer scale of these structures, but they can be as tall as a 20 story building and are made from a combination of up to 8,000 different components.

Wind power does not require water at any point in the process – This could save a huge amount of the world’s natural water stores.

China generates the most wind power of any country – Followed by the United States.

Wind technology is progressing rapidly – A turbine today produces 15 times more energy than one from 1990.

Wind farms are clean, efficient and sustainable – A wind farm can produce more energy in less than a year of operation than was used in its construction. Couple this with the fact that a turbine can last at least 20 years, and you can see how this is a favourite alternative source of energy. They also produce no greenhouse gases.

Wind turbines are not noisy – Contrary to popular belief, scientists have found that the low level of sound emitted by wind turbines poses no health risks. New technology has resulted in quieter turbines, with blades facing upwind.

Wind farms have other economic benefits – Wind farms create jobs and allow landowners to earn extra income, which all flow on to the local economy.

It is obvious that wind is becoming a favourite source of renewable energy. After all, it is one of the cleanest sources of energy as it does not produce any pollutants or emissions. With the ongoing developments in wind technology, the efficiency and sustainability of wind farming will only improve.

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Julie Moore is Co-founder & Director of Save Energy Save Money, Australia’s first energy and price comparison website. With over 10 years’ experience in the corporate world Julie ensures Save Energy Save Money provides you with the energy information you need to make informed decisions. Helping to contribute to a more sustainable Australia.

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