Wind is caused by 3 factors: uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, irregularities on the earth’s surface, and the sun’s rotation. That is why wind is considered a form of solar energy.
Air currents change depending on the landforms, water bodies and existing vegetation. Captured by wind turbines, these air currents can generate electricity.
According to the latest statistics, the number of wind farms, on land or on water, increases annually by more than 35%.
Wind farms are a reliable source of renewable energy that does not require the consumption of natural resources and does not pollute the environment. Wind turbines are installed at an average height of 30 meters where the wind is stronger so that they can capture more wind energy.
On average, a minimum wind speed of 4-5 m/s (14-18 km/h) is needed for wind turbines to operate, while maximum power is produced at a wind speed of 15 m /s (54 km/h). If the wind speed exceeds 25 m/s (90 km/h), the wind turbines cannot operate and are stopped. Therefore, a wind turbine produces electricity 70-85% of the time.
Water wind farms are installed at depths of 100-200 m, anchored to the seabed, their wind turbines being floating.
The advantages of Wind Energy
- Air currents are an inexhaustible source of energy.
- Wind energy contributes to the national security of the producing state, reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels.
- Wind farms can represent an additional income for traditional farm owners. Agricultural land can be leased for the installation of these parks, the main agricultural activity not being affected.
- As already mentioned, solar energy does not pollute the environment and does not produce toxic gases.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy
- Wind turbines pose a danger to wildlife. Birds can be hit or even killed if they get close to them.
- Since the efficiency of turbines depends on the strength of the wind, wind energy can only be captured in areas with sufficiently strong winds throughout the year.
- The noise produced by windmills can be disturbing to nearby residential areas.
- In order to be installed, wind farms require extensive areas.