Wind power or wind energy is a clean form of renewable energy where wind generates mechanical power or electricity. Wind is considered a plentiful and widely distributed source of energy where about 1.5 percent of electricity is derived from. This source is rapidly developing and is considered one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world that can conserve water, lower natural gas prices, provide an alternative to fossil fuels, expand manufacturing, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, it is believed by the U.S. Department of Energy that by using 70 percent of wind energy can be achieved by connecting wind farms with a super grid.
Wind energy is also one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy available today, with costs averaging four and six cents per kilowatt-hour. The energy of wind is converted into electricity through the utilization of wind turbines at a wind farm where electricity is connected to an electrical power transmission network. A wind turbine works by using wind to make electricity through blades that spin a shaft that is connected to a generator and produces electricity. The electricity is sent through the transmission and distribution lines into buildings, homes, businesses, schools, etc. Wind turbines are generally built where winds are stronger and more constant, such as offshore and high altitude sites on rural locations such as farms or ranches. Wind turbines are also favorable to the environment since they don’t not emit or produce atmospheric emissions correlated with acid rain or greenhouse gasses.
The horizontal axis and the vertical axis are two types of wind turbine machines. The horizontal axis model is the most widely used and is characterized by its three propeller-like blades that is the height of a 20 story building. The vertical axis wind machine is characterized by its large blades that stands 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide.
Though a favorable form of energy, electricity generated from wind power can be inconsistent and uneven depending on the time of day and year that wind is generated. Generating wind can be difficult to figure, so it is estimated that only half of the energy available from wind is utilized. This can present problems especially in areas that rely on energy from wind as their source of electricity. Researchers and scientists are currently working on ways to make wind power more consistent by incorporating wind power into a grid system. This requires that various existing technologies and methods be extended such as the use of stronger interregional transmissions, the use of hydro storage, and energy management.