Wind energy-A Renewable Source of Energy
What is renewable energy?
The energy which is inexhaustible and is generated from natural sources such as sun or wind or water is called renewable energy. Unlike non-renewable sources of energy such as coal, renewable energy occurs in abundance and can be used for electricity generation.
Why is it important to use renewable energy?
Modern technology has increased our dependence on electricity and electrically operated appliances. With growing industrialization and commercialization, non-renewable fuels may soon be exhausted and we may not be able to generate electricity the stereotype way using coal.
Moreover, coal-powered plants may increase emissions of the greenhouse gas: carbon dioxide. Energy obtained from renewable sources can produce electricity without causing any harmful effects on the environment and without having the risk of getting replenished.
Considering environmental monitoring data for last 15 years, it is essential to utilize renewable modes of energy generation so that we are well-prepared when renewable energy is exhausted.
What is Wind energy & how it works?
Wind energy involves installing windmills, a structure which generates electricity because it rotates under the influence of wind. Windmills are preferably installed at elevated locations which can receive sufficient wind intensity for the functioning of the windmill.
According to renewable energy UK, wind energy is becoming an increasingly popular source of renewable energy and a 2.5 MW wind turbine has the capacity to produce electricity to meet the yearly electricity demands of a large population.
It was recently reported that in Germany on Sunday the 8th of May 2016, there was such an excess supply of renewable energy that the government paid people to utilize electricity.
On 7th June 2016, Think Change India reported a small windmill that was created by two brothers in Kerala which has a capacity to supply electricity to a household on a daily basis.
What are the challenges faced with windmills?
Installing windmills and generating electricity from it may become an expensive process. The location suitable for windmill installation may be far away from cities, which can increase the cost of supplying electricity.
The U.S Department of Energy declared that wind turbines can cause noise pollution and can negatively impact the visual appearance of a landscape and the turbine blades may also kill birds accidentally flying into them.
History and structure of windmill
Shepherd (1990) declared that windmills were used back in the 17th and 18th century where they were placed near a water body and used to pump water.
Shepherd also confirmed that throughout history, the structure of windmill underwent modifications and different structures were established including horizontal and vertical windmills.
Horizontal windmills are more popular in the modern generation. Domato (1984) explained that windmill structure consists of a tower upon which blades are fixed along an axis that rotate when wind flows. Smith II added that windmills trap wind energy and transform it into electrical or mechanical energy.
This explains the principal behind the generation of electricity using windmills. Applying the use of wind energy can be a sustainable alternative to coal generated electricity.
This Article is written by Staff of Perfect Pollucon Services. They are a leading Environmental Consultant firm in India since 2007.