While the wind energy industry has been booming for the last two decades, there is still a lot of information that people are not aware of. That’s why today, I will share with you 5 facts you probably didn’t know.
And some of them might be very surprising.
1. Wind Energy Is Actually A Form Solar Energy
One of the most common questions that children ask is what causes the wind?
In reality, the wind is the result of heating up the atmosphere by the sun and the rotation of the Earth. The uneven distribution of the heating results in the generation of wind. And due to the irregularities of the Earth, wind varies in strength.
Thus by extension, wind is actually a form of solar energy.
2. Humanity Has Been Using Wind Energy for Thousands of Years
While wind has really come into its own in the last decade, it’s actually been around much longer.
Some of the earliest examples of humanity harnessing wind power can be seen in 5,000 BC along the Nile River. It was used to propel ships down the river. And by 200 BC, water pumps in China used wind power.
While wind energy may seem like new technology, it’s pretty old.
3. China Has the Highest Onshore Wind Capacity in the World
China may be leading the world in terms releasing the most emissions, but it also uses the most wind energy.
And just to be clear, it is not a small lead either. China has an onshore wind energy capacity of 288.32 GW, which is more than double the next highest country (the United States at 122.32 GW). It also has the second-highest offshore wind capacity, with the UK in the lead.
As the country pursues its 2060 goal of carbon neutrality, this capacity will likely become much higher.
4. Half A Million Birds Are Killed By Wind Farms Each Year
Taking a look at the darker side of wind energy, wind farms have a serious impact on local birds.
Unfortunately, birds still don’t recognize wind turbines as a threat. In reality, they look like a high perch that is perfect for a nest. In other cases, the turbines spin too fast for the birds to see the spinning blades.
Sadly, thousands of birds fly directly into them each year as a result.
On the bright side, some companies are beginning to paint the tips of the blades so they standout to birds.
However, stationary buildings are still the number one killer of birds as millions crash into them each year.
5. There Will Be Bladeless Wind Turbines in the Future
With the popularity of renewable energy and wind, research and development is ramping up.
These bladeless turbines generate energy by resonance phenomenon. The wind causes the turbine to begin oscillations (very similar to vibration) and the energy is collected from this movement.
Of course, they are still not in use yet, but the technology may be utilized in the future. And this is the perfect solution to lessen the impact wind turbines have on bird populations.
Wind Energy Will Continue to Thrive
Here’s a fact everyone knows, wind energy is here to stay and it will continue to expand and thrive in the future. Many governments around the world are heavily investing in both onshore and offshore wind.
It will be an essential part of every nation’s plans to go carbon-neutral.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.