The Wonderful World Of Wind Power

Wind power is defined as the use of air flow through wind turbines to mechanically power generators for electricity. Wind power, as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, uses no water, and uses little land.

Wind is a type of renewable energy, and there are three major types of wind power.

  1. Utility-scale wind, wind turbines larger than 100 kilowatts are developed with electricity delivered to the power grid and distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators;
  2. Distributed or "small" wind, which uses turbines of 100 kilowatts or smaller to directly power a home, farm or small business as its primary use;
  3. Offshore wind, which are wind turbines erected in bodies of water around the world, but not yet in the United States.

Recent updates in the world of wind power:

A blustery May across south-eastern Australia helped smash wind energy generation records, placing a temporary halt to climbing carbon emissions from the electricity sector, according to a report by consultants Pitt & Sherry.  Wind farms supplied 1299 gigawatt-hours of electricity last month to the National Electricity Market (NEM), which supplies about 80 per cent of the country

South Australia has the biggest share of wind farms, with 1.5GW, and this accounted for 49 per cent of its electricityd emend in the month. On some occasions, wind energy provided more than 100 per cent of electricity demand in the state.

The Cuomo Administration announced that New York State will participate in a federal auction to obtain a lease for offshore wind energy development in an area 11 miles off the Rockaways. By signaling their intent to pursue this lease and facilitate the development of an offshore wind project, the Cuomo Administration is showing much-needed innovative leadership to finally launch an offshore wind industry for New York. A large-scale commitment to offshore wind power will be needed to ensure New York becomes a global climate action leader by meeting Governor Cuomo’s goal of producing 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This action offers a promising opportunity to begin building the large-scale, long-term offshore wind program necessary to unleash the many benefits responsibly developed offshore wind power will bring to New York.

First considered unprofitable, a huge on-shore wind power project in central Norway is back on track after planners found windier sites and decided to install fewer, but larger, turbines.

The new project will cost more than a billion dollars. Its design calls for six wind farms that combined will generate enough power to heat and light 170,000 homes.  The electricity generated by the wind power project will mostly be used in Norwegian homes, it can also be exported when there’s a surplus.  The project should be up and running within four years. 

Saudi Aramco and General Electric are partnering to install Saudi Arabia’s first Wind Turbine at the Turaif Bulk Plant, located in the north-west of the Kingdom. The initiative is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as endorsed by the Saudi Cabinet that has set an initial target of generating 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy.

Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Vice President of Power Systems, Saudi Aramco, said: “We are committed to efficiently meeting the Kingdom’s energy demand through our fuel optimization program and by supporting renewable energy development. The demo installation of GE’s Wind Turbine will enable the Saudi Aramco and GE teams to build expertise in executing wind projects in the Kingdom.”

Several studies have confirmed the potential for wind energy generation in the Kingdom, particularly in the northern region. According to the Renewable Energy Atlas, higher wind speeds near 8.0 m/s and above (well above a standard economic viability speed of approximately 6 m/s) occur in the northeast and central regions of Saudi Arabia, as well as near mountains in the western region.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. US $40 million to an Ohio consortium to push ahead with building a demonstration offshore wind farm 13 kilometres north of Cleveland in Lake Erie. “It is a very exciting decision for us,” said Dave Karpinski, vice -president of operations for the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo).

“We still have to meet our milestones over the next year to draw upon that, finish our permitting, finish all the engineering.”

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) announced the DOE’s $40 million grant to LEEDCo late last month at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, with remarks from LEEDCo senior officials, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Bodish and other Cleveland officials.

“Lake Erie is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and today’s award should be a gusher for northern Ohio,” said Kaptur, who serves as the Ranking Member of the U.S. House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. “This wind power project will begin to unleash Lake Erie’s full renewable power potential and contribute to creating a more competitive energy marketplace.”

“This announcement today seems perfectly suited to Cleveland, the first city in America where the electric wind turbine was invented. With this announcement today, Cleveland carries American innovation forward in this new millennium,” Kaptur said.

Wind energy is a clean, renewable form of energy that uses virtually no water and pumps billions of dollars into our economy every year. Furthermore, wind energy is a drought-resistant cash crop in many parts of the country, providing economic investment to rural communities through lease payments to landowners. Wind energy helps avoid a variety of environmental impacts due to its low impact emitting zero greenhouse gas emissions or conventional pollutants and consuming virtually no water.

Do you agree? Is wind the way to go? Let us know in the comments below.

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