Wind Power Energy
Energy generated by the wind goes back a long time history. Humans have been using wind power for at least 5,500 years to propel sailboats and sailing ships. Windmills have been used for irrigation pumping and for milling grain since the 7th century AD in what is now Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan, according to Wikipedia. Electricity generating wind turbines have been around for nearly 100 years. With the fossil fuel crisis, wind power energy has become a force to be reckoned with to generate clean power. Traditionally, Europe and the United States have been the biggest supporters of wind power. However, since 2010 the balanced has started to tip to Asian countries and China is now the biggest investor in this type of energy.
By June 2010, wind power energy capacity had amounted to 175 GW, which corresponds to 2% of worldwide electricity usage. Amongst the countries where wind plays a bigger role in their energy mix are Denmark (20%), Ireland (14%), Portugal (14%), Spain (11%) and Germany (8%). Since 2009, 80 countries explore wind power commercially.
One important issue related to wind power energy is variability and intermittency. The industry works to develop methods to improve wind forecasting methods as predictability of wind plant output is still relatively low.
Wind farms sometimes are met with resistance from people who live near planned sites as they think they could spoil the landscape. Another concern is the rate of collision of birds against turbines. As more turbines crop up on the landscape, birds are now faced with another man-made hazard. It is also possible to install a wind turbine on a private property for private use. Residential wind turbines use the same technology as large wind farms. They are quite robust and do not require constant maintenance. It is estimated they can work smoothly for around 20 years.
According to Myenergysolution.com, a residential wind turbine can generate around 70% of electricity use. Residential systems are not suitable for urban or even suburban locations as property size needs to be at least one acre. It is also important to check out local zoning laws.