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Wind. The alternative and renewable resource . How it Works. The wind passes over the blades creating lift (like an aircraft wing) which causes the rotor to turn.

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The alternative and renewable resource

How it works
How it Works

  • The wind passes over the blades creating lift (like an aircraft wing) which causes the rotor to turn.

  • The blades turn a low-speed shaft inside the nacelle: gears connect the low speed shaft of the rotor with a high speed shaft that drives a generator.

  • Here, the slow rotation speed of the blades is increased to the high speed of generator revolution.

  • The rapidly spinning shaft drives the generator to produce electric energy.

  • Electricity from the generator goes to a transformer which converts it to the right voltage for the electricity grid.

  • The electricity is then transmitted via the electricity network.

How it gets to you
How it gets to you

  • Wind turbines often stand together in a windy area that has been through a robust development process in an interconnected group - a wind project or wind farm

  • These turbines are connected so the electricity can travel from the wind farm to the power grid

  • Once wind energy is on the main power grid, electric utilities or power operators will deliver the electricity where it is needed

  • Smaller transmission lines called distribution lines will collect the electricity generated at the wind project site and transport it to larger "network" transmission lines where the electricity can travel across long distances to the locations where it is needed

  • Finally the smaller "distribution lines" deliver electricity directly to your town and home.

Types of wind energy
Types of Wind Energy

  • Utility-scale wind, wind turbines larger than 100 kilowatts are developed with electricity delivered to the power grid and distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators;

  • Distributed or "small" wind, which uses turbines of 100 kilowatts or smaller to directly power a home, farm or small business as it primary use;

  • Offshore wind, which are wind turbines erected in bodies of water around the world, but not yet in the United States.

Small wind
Small Wind

  • Defined as wind turbines with a capacity rating of less than or equal to 100 kW

  • Turbines range in size from smaller than 1 kW for off-grid applications to 100-kW turbines

  • Fifty-four small turbine models are offered commercially in the United States for applications including homes, schools, commercial and industrial facilities, telecommunications, farms and ranches, and communities

  • By 2012, more than 150,000 small wind turbines were installed in the United States.

  • U.S. manufacturers account for more than 70 percent of the U.S. small turbine market

Off shore
Off Shore

  • Off shore wind has the potential to contribute up to four times the generating capacity of the current U.S. electrical system.

  • Could provide 54 gigawatts of the 300 GW needed to deliver 20% of the nation’s electricity from wind energy by 2030 – 60 Million homes

  • Significant job-creation potential, proven environmental benefits, and close proximity to demand


  • The cost of the wind turbine is the single largest cost component making up 70% or more of the entire cost

  • The cost of installation, such as construction, makes up the remaining capital costs

  • Recent reductions in capital costs have been primarily driven by significant reductions in wind turbine costs

World usage
World Usage

  • The adoption of wind energy globally has changed dramatically since the 1980's when

  • California was home to 90% of the world's installed wind energy capacity.

  • Increased more than 16 times between 2000 and 2012, to over 282,000 MW of operating wind capacity.

  • United States represented nearly 22% of the world's installed wind energy capacity, second only to China, and followed by Germany, Spain, and India.


  • Wind energy is a green energy source and does not cause pollution.

  • The potential of wind power is enormous – 20 times more than what the entire human population needs.[1]

  • Wind power is renewable and there is no way we can run out of it (since wind energy originates from the sun).

  • Wind turbines are incredible space-efficient. The largest of them generate enough electricity to power 600 U.S. homes.[2]

  • Wind power only accounts for about 2.5% of total worldwide electricity production, but is growing at a promising rate of 25% per year (2010).[3]

  • Prices have decreased over 80% since 1980 and are expected to keep decreasing.[4]

  • The operational costs associated with wind power are low.

  • Good domestic potential: Residential wind turbines yields energy savings and protects homeowners from power outages.


  • Wind is a fluctuating (intermittent) source of energy and is not suited to meet the base load energy demand unless some form of energy storage is utilized (e.g. batteries, pumped hydro).

  • The manufacturing and installation of wind turbines requires heavy upfront investments – both in commercial and residential applications.

  • Wind turbines can be a threat to wildlife (e.g. birds, bats).

  • Noise is regularly reported as a problem by neighboring homes.

  • How wind turbines look (aesthetics) is a legitimate concern for some people


  • Wind energy propelled boats along the Nile River as early as 5000 B.C.

  • By the 11th century, people in the Middle East were using windmills extensively for food production; returning merchants and crusaders carried this idea back to Europe.

  • Industrialization, first in Europe and later in America, led to a gradual decline in the use of windmills. 

  • In the 1930s, the Rural Electrification Administration's programs brought inexpensive electric power to most rural areas in the United States.

  • However, industrialization also sparked the development of larger windmills to generate electricity. Commonly called wind turbines, these machines appeared in Denmark as early as 1890

  • When fuel prices fell after World War II, interest in wind turbines waned. But when the price of oil skyrocketed in the 1970s, so did worldwide interest in wind turbine generators.

  • The wind turbine technology R&D that followed the oil embargoes of the 1970s refined old ideas and introduced new ways of converting wind energy into useful power.


  • The political support for wind energy is very low domestic and foreign

  • Although the wind energy market is expanding it is still not enough to out lobby the oil companies in congress

  • Congressmen believe that wind energy is killing the bald eagles

  • Obama’s wind energy plan has been voted against because of oil companies lobbying congressmen

In the news texas
In The News: Texas

Microsoft Goes Green

The Surge in Wind

ERCOT officials witnessed a surge in new wind farm proposals from West Texas and the Panhandle, where the new lines have opened millions of acres for potential development. Roughly 25,000 MW of wind energy projects are currently under way

By 2016, West Texas should send nearly 16,000 MW of power to the grid (as much wind energy as the current combined output of the next three largest wind-producing states -- California, Iowa and Illinois)

As other resources -- including those from the Texas coastal zone -- come online, Texas by the end of the decade should be the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world

  • Microsoft is putting its own spin to the sustainability issue, at least as it relates to becoming a green partner

  • The company's latest sustainable energy strategy officially gets underway this week with groundbreaking construction of a new wind farm in Texas.

  • Microsoft's Robert Bernard, the company's chief environmental strategist, says last year Microsoft introduced an internal carbon fee designed to increase the company’s costs for using carbon-based forms of energy

  • Six major internet companies have committed to 100 percent renewable power for their energy hungry data centers- Apple, Facebook, Google, Box and Salesforce have all agreed to be a part of what they hope will be growing green internet companies.

Recent events
Recent Events

  • AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) Wind Energy Regional Summit – Northeast

  • WINDPOWER is the annual conference and exhibition for the U.S. wind industry hosted by AWEA - the nexus of wind energy professionals who converge to generate actionable ideas for expanding the wind energy economy through technology and collaboration.


  • Total capacityend 2013 (MW)

  • Germany

  • 34,250

  • Spain

  • 22,959

  • India

  • 20,150

  • China

  • 91,424

  • United States

  • 61,091