Profiles of Wind Energy in Use
Not your great-grandpa's wind energy technology
Although there is a lot of talk about renewable energy being the "energy source of tomorrow" and such, it is already being used in a big way in places all over the world. Denmark now gets nearly 25 percent of its electricity from wind, while the United States presently gets less than 1 percent of its electricity from wind power. The bright side is that the wind electricity industry has been growing by well over 50 percent worldwide for nearly two decades now, making it the fastest growing single source of electricity worldwide.
The world uses a total of less than 14 Terawatts (TW) of wind energy, and there is a global potential for greater than 72 Terawatts with present technologies - more than enough to meet the entire world's energy demands many times over. (And that is with today's technologies, without considering any massive scientific leaps that may occur.)
Here on The Solar Guide, we have several profiles of wind energy as it is being used today. Whether used on the farm, in a mining or engineering application for cathodic protection or for remote scientific and military monitoring sites, wind clearly has a place in our energy present, not just past and future.
Wind energy is used at remote homes and cabins as well. Particularly in cases where someone will live in the building on a year-round basis, wind can be a great complementary energy source even if the area's wind resource is comparatively low. When paired with solar photovoltaics, wind power is able to provide more energy in the winter when solar radiation is in short supply.
Wind energy is used at military bases such as Guantanamo Bay, and with technological advances in recent years, it has become economically competitive with other methods of generating electricity. Obviously, wind does not release the toxic pollutants or greenhouse gases that are emitted by burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas.
For more profiles of wind energy in daily use, you can visit The Renewable Planet. You may even find a variety of renewable energy systems installed in your area!