Wind energy can be used everywhere due to the continuous activity and movement of wind. While it may be intermittent, it always resumes, is completely renewable, and is easily converted and used as energy.
Wind energy has been used for thousands of years. Humans began harnessing wind power approximately 5,500 years ago to sail ships. Following this, architects used wind-driven natural ventilation. Wind power as a mechanical device came in the 17th century BC when it was used for irrigation, and in 300 BC monsoon winds were used to power furnaces. These furnaces were constructed along paths of the monsoons, and were eventually able to raise indoor furnace temperatures to 1,100-1,200 Celsius.
The first practical windmills were built in the 1st century AD. While contemporary windmills have a horizontal axis, early windmills had a vertical axis. People learned that windmills created power to meet their daily needs without taking from their already limited resources. Renewable wind energy allowed them to grind corn, draw water, and was used in grist milling and sugarcane industries. The first horizontal axis windmills were not developed until around 1180.
Currently, wind energy has become an even more popular source of renewable energy. The first contemporary windmills were developed in the early 1980s, and their numbers are continuing to grow rapidly. Wind energy usage doubled between 2005 and 2008.
Wind power converts renewable energy from the wind into a useful form, most often electricity. The most contemporary name for these devices is “wind turbine.” There are wind turbine farms, off-shore wind turbines, and small residential wind turbines. Many European countries have managed to double their wind generation, and over 80 countries around the world are using renewable wind energy on a commercial basis.
Wind farms are often large-scale and connected to local electric power transmission or the utility grid. Smaller turbines are often used residentially and users frequently sell back surplus electricity to the network.
Wind energy is renewable, and while it may be intermittent, this rarely occurs and any problems can be balanced with other forms of energy. Wind energy does not deplete fossil fuels, continues to be clean, and produces no greenhouse emissions. However, wind power can be problematic because of the visual impact.
Offshore wind farms can produce significant amounts of wind energy, but it is found that when they are placed in a straight line they can produce noise nuisance. Still, they do not restrict land and are equally beneficial.
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