Wind Energy

Wind Energy

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WIND NEWS

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Featured Wind Story

Why does wind power bring this Ohio farmer to tears?

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Background on wind energy 

HERE is a great animation of how a wind turbine works.

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity,wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships.

Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment. (Wikipedia)

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Here is the link to the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). HERE is the 2009 WWEA report:

  • Worldwide capacity reached 159,213 MW, out of which 38,312 MW were added in 2009.

  • Wind power showed a growth rate of 31.7 %, the highest rate since 2001.

  • The trend continued that wind capacity doubles every three years.

  • All wind turbines installed by the end of 2009 worldwide are generating 340 TWh per annum, equivalent to the total electricity demand of Italy, the seventh largest economy of the world, and equalling 2 % of global electricity consumption.

Here is a graph showing how much wind energy is being produced:

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Watch this 2-minute VIDEO on wind energy in the US, from Climate Central.

 

 

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TOCCO DA CASAURIA, Italy

Tocco de Casauria wind turbines (NYT)

Here is a great story about a small Italian town with wind turbines making all the difference in the municipal budget. The turbines are modern and silent. Tocco profits because the turbine company leases the land on which the turbines stand and gives the town a cut of the profits it makes from selling electricity generated with local wind. Tocco has won awards from international environmental groups for its efforts in renewable energy. But, said Mayor Zaccagnini, that is not really a strong motivation: “We’ve gotten lots of kudos from outside, but people here care more that we now have money to fill potholes.”  Photo NYT

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Huge wind farm in Oregon

[Edit] This wind farm is now up and running - see HERE.

ORIGINAL POST: The Department of Energy announced a partial loan guarantee of $1.3 billion to help get plans for what could become the world’s largest wind farm moving forward.  The 845 megawatt Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project will be located in Eastern Oregon. 

The Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project, constructed on private property in eastern Oregon, will deploy a total of 338 wind turbines supplied by General Electric (GE). Projected to employ over 400 people in construction phase and provide 845 megawatt wind-powered electrical generation, the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project will produce enough wind energy to supply 235,000 homes and set a high bar for future wind energy projects. By doing this, we will directly avoid 1,215,991 tons of carbon dioxide per year – roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 212,141 passenger vehicles. 100% of the wind power generated through these turbines at the Caithness Shepherds Flat project will be sold to Southern California Edison via fixed price power purchase agreements lasting 20 years. 

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Wind potentially could power the world

Two studies have been done by two different U.S. science teams; click HERE for a description. They calculate that existing wind turbine technology could produce hundreds of trillions of watts of power. That's more than 10 times what the world now consumes.

Potential wind energy limits wouldn't be an issue.

Money would be.

"It's really a question about economics and engineering and not a question of fundamental resource availability," said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Palo Alto, Calif., campus of the Washington-based Carnegie Institution for Science. He is a co-author of one of the studies; that one appeared in the journal Nature Climate Change.

HERE is the Caldeira et al article on the maximum possible amount of wind power from a pure geophysics perspective. The answer is that there is plenty of wind available to power all human needs on earth many times over. "We find wind turbines placed on Earth’s surface could extract kinetic energy at a rate of at least 400TW, whereas high-altitude wind power could extract more than 1,800TW." Present global primary power demand is around 18TW. At this level, "uniformly distributed wind turbines are unlikely to substantially affect the Earth’s climate." It is likely that wind power growth will be limited by economic or environmental factors, not global geophysical limits.

Ref: Nature Climate Change ; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org

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Wind Energy International report

Report has information by country

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Articles on Wind Energy

"Offshore wind provides a great opportunity to increase the use of renewable energy, thanks to the strong and steady winds that blow off our shores and proximity to electricity demand centers, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "Offshore wind energy is proven in Europe, and will soon be hard at work here in America, powering our economy, protecting our environment and creating jobs."

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Let’s start with this list:

  • Good Value
  • Quiet
  • Attractive
  • Durable

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The study found that wind power was reliable, reduced carbon emissions and was technically capable of providing a significant portion of the UK's electricity.

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The inaudible sound caused by wind farms is no worse than that from other rural and urban environments and does not affect human health, a review by the Victorian Department of Health has found.

Some groups claim the inaudible noise from wind turbines, known as infrasound, can trigger health problems including dizziness, headaches, and insomnia. Together, the syndromes are sometimes described as ''wind turbine syndrome''.

The Health Department review, released late last week, assessed the evidence and found it does not ''support claims that inaudible sounds can have direct physiological effects. Physiological effects on humans have only been detected at levels that are easily audible.''

The report says infrasound is generated by many sources, such as trains, breaking waves and airconditioners. The department found the evidence showed wind farms produced no more infrasound than the background level in other environments.

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Links for Wind Energy

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Last edit 01Oct2017

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