Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships. At the end of 2009, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 159.2 gigawatts. Energy production was 340 TWh, which is about 2% of worldwide electricity usage; and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the past three years.
The first use of wind energy was through wind mills. Wind mills had engines which used to produce energy using wind. This energy was usually used in rural and agricultural areas for grinding, pumping, hammering and various farm needs. Even today, wind energy is used in large scale wind farms to provide electricity to rural areas and other far reaching locations. Wind energy is being used extensively in areas like China, Denmark, Germany, Spain and in some areas of the United States of America.
Wind powering technology is regaining its popularity. There are many regions which has strong wind sources. As the production cost drops, the three-blade turbines that produced tiny volumes of electricity for remote cottages is spreading across. Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines.
Wind energy, is an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment. It not only cuts our dependence on fossil fuels, but also creates new jobs. Some advantages of wind power are as follows:
- Wind Energy is ample and renewable.
- Wind Energy is widely distributed, cheap, and also reducing toxic gas emissions.
- Wind Energy is also helps to diminish the greenhouse effect.
- It is readily available around the globe, and therefore there would be no need of dependence for energy for any country.