ology logo
card
300

wind power

OLogy Series
geology
card
300

wind power

OLogy Series
geology

For thousands of years, humans have relied on the power of wind to sail across oceans, pump water, and grind grain. About a hundred years ago, the Dutch began to use their powerful windmills to generate electricity. Today, these electricity-producing windmills, or wind turbines, are found in open, windy spots around the world.

A group of wind turbines is called a:

wind factory

wind farm

wind forest

Are you right?

Correct!

A wind farm can provide as much electricity as a coal-fired electrical plant. One large wind farm in Texas generates enough electricity to power 220,000 homes!

An ideal location for wind turbines is:

in a forest

in a town center

on an open plain

Are you right?

Correct!

Wind turbines need to be where wind is strong and consistent. Other possible locations include coastlines, mountaintops, valleys, and even offshore.

Wind farms can have a negative impact on communities and wildlife populations.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Some people find wind farms to be noisy and unattractive. Wind farms can also be harmful to birds. People are working to place turbines away from bird habitats.

Wind is driven by solar power. So wind power is also renewable like solar power.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

The Sun heats the atmosphere unevenly.This, along with Earth's rotation and varied surface, causes wind. As long as the Sun shines and Earth has an atmosphere, there will be wind!

Definition: the process of producing electricity
or mechanical energy using the power of wind
Carbon Dioxide Emissions: None!
Cost: cheap (compared to other energy sources)
Location: open, windy areas
Current Use: Wind power provides under 1% of world's electricity. But it's growing 30% per year.
Cool Fact: In Denmark, excess electricity from wind farms is used to pump water uphill. It is then used to power hydroelectric plants.

Image credits: courtesy of Glowimages/AGE Fotostock.