How Do We Use Wind Energy?


Quick Answer

People use wind energy to power homes and businesses. Wind turbines, some as tall as a 20-story building, turn when the wind blows across the large blades. As the wind spins the blades, the spinning produces electricity in a generator mounted in the tower.

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Full Answer

Wind farms consist of tens to hundreds of turbines and are placed in known windy locations. The largest turbines can each generate enough power to supply 600 homes with their electricity needs. Wind is a clean, renewable source of energy. Wind is generated by uneven heating in the earth’s atmosphere, and windy locations are generally able to produce similar electrical outputs across a year of operation. Wind may not cooperate on a particular day or during peak hours, so other forms of energy need to work with wind to produce electricity as demand requires.

Generation of wind power is increasing, with Germany in the lead, followed by Spain, the United States, India and Denmark. France and China are also heavily investing in wind power. Some experts predict that by 2050, wind power could be providing up to one-third of the world’s electricity needs.

Wind turbines cause bird and bat deaths; other concerns include the noise and appearance of the large turbines. Some communities are opposed to installation of wind power, especially in scenic areas.

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