Wind energy is one of the top methods of renewable energy production in the world today. It isn’t a new technology, even though wind turbines are being built on a massive scale today. Windmills have been used to pump water, grind grain, and perform other needed tasks for thousands of years. Here are some more fun facts about wind turbines to consider.
1. A Big Employer
In the United States, more than 73,000 people are employed in the manufacturing and installation of wind turbines. There are more than 500 facilities producing components throughout the country right now. Each wind turbine has more than 8,000 parts to it that help to make it work.
2. Tall For a Purpose
The speed of a wind turbine is a direct reflection of how much electricity can be generated. This is why turbines are being built at great heights. Above ground level the wind patterns are different, which means they can rotate the turbines faster and produce more power for the same investment. The taller wind turbines has allowed China and the US dominate the wind power creation market.
3. Low Prices
The lowest prices ever recorded for wind power was in 2014 when it was just 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour in some areas of the United States. This has leveled prices out and made power generated by wind turbines highly competitive with more traditional forms of electricity generation.
4. That’s in Gigatons
When the current production levels are expanded to the year 2050, it is estimated that the US will save more than 12.3 gigatons of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere to create power. Wind turbines will also save more than 250 billion gallons of water. More than 17 million US homes are starting to see these benefits already.
5. Lots of Future Potential
Most wind turbines are placed on land right now, but that’s not always where the fastest winds happen to be. All of these future benefits of wind power could be expanded if an affordable method of off-shore placement could be developed. The US Energy Department is researching this possibility right now.
Wind turbines have become a new landscape focal point in many communities. With each spin, they are able to reduce the amount of emissions we produce. That’s why having affordable power from these devices can create hope and excitement for the future.