One solution towards diminishing the world’s reliance on coal is through natural sources like wind power. This solution requires that tall wind turbines to be installed, helping capture winds at a high altitude. They are usually installed on top of an large grassy field (referred to as a wind farm), but can also be built offshore. In the United States there’s actually a competition over who gets to build the nation’s first offshore wind powered plant off Block Island in Rhode Island. Offshore wind farms have a capability of generating 30 megawatts of energy (at least the one in Rhode Island, using 5 turbines, has that ability). This can generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes. Another positive of wind power? Job creation. Something that an individual can do to wean themselves off coal is adding small wind turbines to the roofs of their homes in addition to the already popular solar energy panel. The combination of both solar and wind increases energy efficiency by around 50-70 percent. While there have been some permit setbacks, this can become a reality not only in Carlsbad, California, where this idea was first formed, but can continue to spread.
Answering the Critics
Although wind energy only accounts for a fraction of the current
energy production, studies by the U.S. Department of energy have shown that when
states like Texas and Colorado began investing in wind power, they almost
immediately began to see air quality improvements.
Wind energy will always be there. While many critics point
out that it’s less reliable on a day to day basis, it’s been shown to stabilize
the energy grids when working in conjuncture with other energy sources. Stasis
is the last word someone would use to describe the energy grid, with supply and
demand constantly in flux, due to air conditioning, heating, and peak hours. Adding
wind to the mix will always help bring power to the grid in a clean, renewable
way, even if it’s not constant.
Image courtesy of Gizmodo.com
The beauty of technology is that it's always improving. This is also true for alternative energy methods. An example is the new Aerogenerator X Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, which will be completed by 2014. Instead of using a traditional vertical structure, this wind turbine will rotate horizontally. Its design will enable it to generate twice the power of previous designs, according to the manufacturer. That's 10 megawatts per hour.
Check out the article, short video and more pictures of the Aerogenerator X Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Here.