The increasing depletion and balanced increase in the price of non-renewable sources have forced people to look for alternative fuels that are available cheaply to meet their demand for energy. One of the best alternative available is wind energy. Wind power is one of the alternative sources of energy that has been in use since 2000 BC. Also, the wind power market is anticipated to propel tremendously over the forecast period. Wind power retains massive potential and has been developing fast in recent years.
The wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, rotation of the earth and the irregularities of the earth's surface. The wind flow patterns are modified by the vegetative cover, earth's terrain, and water bodies. This wind flow when gathered by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
By wind turbines the wind power is mostly harnessed, which are tall and have three blades, each of which are 60 meters long. They resemble giant propellers of airplanes mounted on a stick. The wind power is estimated as the fastest-growing mode of electricity production across the planet and this results in fueling the market. About $__ billion was spent on wind energy investment in 2012 and the wind power in the U.S. is a $__ billion a year industry. The biggest source of new generation capacity for electricity in 2012 was wind energy accounting for __% of total capacity. The largest wind turbine in the world is located in the US in Hawaii. It stands 20 storeys tall and has blades the length of a football field.
The wind power industry is burgeoning by leaps and bounds. In 2012, more than 70,000 megawatts of global capacity was generated. For instance, a single megawatt is enough to power 250 homes. The most installed capacity of wind energy is in Germany followed by Spain. The US and China are also catching up. If this growth momentum is sustained, wind energy is anticipated to meet the maximum percent of global energy demands over the forecast period. The major driving force of wind power is due to rising population worldwide. However, the major drawbacks of wind energy are sometimes high installation costs, changes in wind speed and they are not suitable for all areas.
There is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades and aesthetic impacts. Additionally, the main challenges to using the wind as a source of power are intermittent and do not always blow when electricity is needed.
As long as the drawbacks are concerned, these problems have been resolved through technological developments and advancement in the wind plants. Also, due to the decreasing costs of solar and wind technologies and anticipation for more carbon-constrained future, today the global growth of renewable energy is increasingly driven by voluntary obtaining of utilities and corporations. These improving economics are empowering many customers to seek greater control over their energy choices.