How it works: Typically, wind energy is turned into electricity by windmills. The wind turns blades which turn electric generators, just as in hydroelectric dams the water turns the generators.
How much supply: one analysis believes that wind power will provide 6% of all the electricity needed by 2017. It also says that if all the wind energy could be harnessed it would provide more power than the whole world needs. (Source: Economist Magazine)
- Some communities don't like having huge windmills near them
- Wind is not constant so the power can't be provided constantly.
- We don't currently have good ways to store power generated when there's a lot of wind for use later when the wind has died down.
Please keep in mind that the link I'm providing is from a wind power association and will be biased in favor of wind power. I can't link to the article in the Economist because I don't think people who have no subscription can read it...
How it works
Current wind turbines running on the same principle as the ancient windmills: the propeller blades collect the wind's kinetic energy which converts into electricity through a generator.
How much supply
Households across the globe could be fueled by wind, if on the teritory of United States of America should be placed a wind turbine system, shows a new study made by researchers at Harvard University.
According to the results of calculations in the report, a network of individual wind turbines with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts would cover the energy needs of the world.
Experts say that such a project will be approved only if the facilities will be located so as not to harm the environment,in areas where there are no glaciers, forests and communities of people.
Wind turbines can operate at only 20% of its capacity to produce a quantity of energy 40 times higher than the global consumption of electricity. Excess energy will result in lower prices and open up new perspectives on environmental technologies such as electric cars.
Power generation systems installed in the U.S. last year were based on wind power at a rate of 42%.
The study was conducted on the basis of simulations of wind fields, using data provided by the system Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System (Geos-5 DAS).
Problems with wind power
The biggest disadvantage is that wind power does not get electricity when the wind does not beat or beats too weak, so it must be provided an alternative source of electricity.