Monday, May 30, 2005

Alternative energy sources - Wind power

Wind has very long history of being used for many centuries as a source of power. After all wind powered sailing ships played extremely important role in human history by not only exploring new land but also by spreading trade between distant countries. Windmills also have a very long history by not only satisfying human demands for crop irrigation, but also for electric lights and water pumping. Wind power sector is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources, and its total share in satisfying world's total energy demand is about 1,5 %, which is significantly larger than for instance solar power. Some countries like for instance Germany and Denmark are already using wind power energy on big commercial scale. Like the solar energy wind energy also belongs to intermittent energy sources.

The main disadvantage that wind energy has is its inconsistency, and many technologies are working hard to turn wind power into more consistence energy source, for instance wind farms. There are now many thousands of wind turbines operating, with a total nameplate capacity of 121,188 MWp of which wind power in Europe accounts for 55% (2008 data). World wind generation capacity more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006, doubling about every three years, and giving tremendous boost to complete renewable energy sector. With developing technologies that are constantly increasing not only efficiency but also the cost effectiveness of this renewable energy source, wind energy really has potential to become one of the strongest energy sources in not so distant future.

Alternative energy overview:
     1. Introduction
     2. Solar power
     3. Wind power
     4. Biomass/Biofuel
     5. Nuclear energy
     6. Ocean and Earth Power
     7. Conclusion

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