Solar energy is not the only source of clean renewable energy. There is wind energy and water generated energy as well.
Because the sun is not a permanent or frequent fixture in many parts of the world, it is good to know about other types of renewable energy resources.
No one can dispute that wind energy is everywhere.
But before you consider installing your own a home wind turbine, ask yourself what exactly do you know about this energy source?
What You Didn’t Know About Wind Power
All over the world, more people are investing in wind turbines. Climate change and greenhouse gas emission are making it more of a necessity for us to transition to cleaner sources of power.
People are paying attention.
With the onset of the internet, information is freely and readily accessible. So the message is getting around about wind energy. But here are some more facts about this renewable energy source, which could help you, decide on whether to buy your own home wind turbine.
Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power
This latest “report shows wind energy can supply the U.S. with 10 percent of the country’s electricity by 2020, 20 percent by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050 and Wind Vision report provides a roadmap for how to get there. Wind Vision updates and expands on the DOE’s 2008 report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing wind energy’s contribution to the U.S. electricity supply, which galvanized the rapid growth of wind so that it now generates 5.5 percent of America’s electricity.”
Also in the report is the projection of 600,000 jobs being created in the United States by 2050.
Accessing Wind Energy is Inexpensive
In certain parts of the country, it costs the utility company about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour to buy power from a wind farm in the recent years. This is referred to as levelized wind prices. These all-time low prices are captured in the annual Wind Technologies Market Report by the Energy Department.
United States’ Renewable Generation Capacity
At the end of 2016, the wind power capability in this country exceeded 82 gigawatts. As such, the US had the highest levels ever of renewable generation. With that amount of energy, electricity could be supplied to over 20 million houses.
“In terms of volume, the U.S. is the second largest wind market in the world (behind China), and the wind was the third largest new source of electricity in the U.S. last year after natural gas and solar,” based on reports from Fortune.com.
However, taking into consideration those “wind farms deployed by the end of 2014, the U.S. only gets 4.9% of its electricity from wind.” Meanwhile, in Denmark, they get 40% of their power from wind turbines.
In addition, “Spain and Ireland get about 20% of their electricity from wind.”
Farms across America
In 2017, the first operational utility-scale wind farm came on stream in North Carolina. That makes 41 states, plus in the U.S. Virgin Islands Guam, and Puerto Rico, there is also distributed wind installed.
The Daily Tar Heel touted “Amazon Wind Farm became the first fully operational, utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina. … June Blotnick, executive director of Clean Air Carolina, said the state is ideal for wind energy projects because of its coastal winds.”
She was quoted as saying, “North Carolina has the strongest offshore wind potential than any other state along the Atlantic seaboard. And we must take advantage of this to improve the environment, our health and the economy.”
Even though it was opposed by ten Republican state legislators, when they wrote letters to Gen. John Kelly, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, the project has been a success.
Manufacturers of Home Wind Turbines
The majority of accessories and home wind turbine products that are used in America are manufactured in the country. Over 101,000 people are also employed in this industry, which spans across 41 states and 500 manufacturing facilities.
The listing of 28 manufacturers of wind turbines include:
Taller Wind Turbines
You get more electricity when there are elevated levels of wind speeds. This is why manufacturers are building taller wind turbines.
Even though this might seem like a modern marvel right now, but the implication for having larger wind turbines far outweighs that development.
“Bigger turbines harvest more energy, more steadily. The bigger they get the less variable and more reliable they get, and the easier they are to integrate into the grid. Wind is already out-competing other sources on wholesale energy markets.”
Wind Turbines are Huge
Generally, the blades of wind turbines span about 170 feet. The towers go up to approximately 270 feet tall. This compares to the height of the Statue of Liberty.
The top ten largest wind turbines include:
- MHI Vestas V164 9.5MW
- Adwen AD-180
- Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy SWT-8.0-154
- Enercon E-126 7.5MW
- Ming Yang SCD 6.0MW
- Senvion 6.2M152
- GE Haliade 6MW
- Sinovel SL6000
- Dongfang/Hyundai Heavy Industries 5.5MW
- Adwen AD5-135
However, home wind turbines size ranges upwards of 40 to 100 feet, but it depends on what you are using it to do. Also, your local zoning codes could limit what size product is available to your area. Some smaller ones having a particular setting based on their application i.e. 20 watts to 100 kilowatts (kW).
The lesser types of home wind turbines have a rotor length upwards of 15 meters or 50 feet. Consequently, it can be supported by high towers of 30 meters upwards.
Increased Complexity of Wind Turbines
The wind turbines that are around today are not so simplistic as those used on the long-established prairie windmill. The thrust of innovation has catapulted the design to have over 8,000 different components.
When we look towards, “The Future of Wind Turbines,” they might even have no blades.
“A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless is proposing a radical new way to generate wind energy that will once again upend what you see outside your car window.”
Vortex aims to build a bladeless wind turbine, which in appearance “looks like a giant rolled joint shooting into the sky.” It will perform the same function as our wind turbines do now by turning “breezes into kinetic energy that can be used as electricity. But it goes about it in an entirely different way.”
Wind Turbine Power Is Not New To Man
Though there is a huge push on a global scale to use wind energy, this is not new to human civilization. It has been around for thousands of years.
Back in the earlier centuries, their form of wind technology, namely windmills, were designed to pump water or crush grain.
But now, we are using it on a greater scale. Today, manufacturers are building huge wind turbines and smaller home wind turbines to generate electricity for every appliance or machine that needs it. Whole states are slowly switching to this renewable energy source and increasing cutting the demand for fossil fuel energy.