The answer is certainly debated.
Offshore wind farms could provide three times more power than land-based turbines
Enercon’s E-126 turbine towers 125 meters high and can generate a staggering 7.58 MW of electricity.
A Spanish startup called Vortex Bladeless has been receiving a lot hype recently once it unveiled a prototype for a bladeless wind turbine. Like conventional pin-wheel turbines, their turbine also works by harnessing the kinetic energy of the wind. However, instead of moving blades which in turn rotate a shaft connected to a generator, the “asparagus” turbine uses a magnets to transform oscillating movements into electricity. It’s a radical idea, one that might forever change the scenery most of you have already become used to – huge parks of windmills, which personally I’m rather fond of. So far, the engineers behind the project have been rather secretive and the only things we know about the Vortex Mini (the first commercial turbine of this kind set to come out next year) is what has been disclosed by the company. They’re boasting an impressive performance – to the point that it might be feasible to forego pin-wheel turbines altogether in favor of the Vortex – but until we seen some independent assessments I believe skepticism is warranted.
It amazes me when I hear people say they’re against wind turbines because … wait for it… they’re ugly. If you think the same, please get a look at this. Others hate them because they have this misguided impression they’re noisy. Well, modern turbines at least are quieter than a heartbeat. If you really want to make a case against wind turbines, you could argue they’re bad for wildlife and you’d be right. Birds, bats and other winged creatures are sometimes attracted by the turbines or get slashed when these are in the way of their migration patterns. This is why I believe turbines should be built only in those areas where there is minimal interference with wildlife. They’ll always be downsides to any technology or infrastructure development, but when you draw the line we must be objective whether or not the benefits tip the scales. There’s also another added benefit to turbines you likely never heard about: they help crops grow faster and better when they’re placed on farmland.
Among the more common arguments against wind turbines you usually have noise and ugliness. Personally, I really don’t find wind turbines ugly and studies have found that generally wind turbines are very quiet but hey – this is the general perception. For these reasons, French engineers have spent three years developing beautiful and quiet urban versions of wind turbines – the results
Floating wind farms may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, but a MIT start-up called Altaeros Energies just unveiled an enormous helium-filled wind turbine which will hover 1,000 feet above ground for 18 months. The turbine, called Altaeros BAT, is a part of a pilot program aimed at demonstrating that airborne wind turbines are feasible. A wind turbine is most efficient when its
Among the criticism that wind energy gets, one main idea some people complain about is that wind turbines are noisy; some people have even went as far as to claim that even though most of the created noise is way below the range of human hearing (infrasounds), it can cause health problems, including heart issues and vertigo. Now, a study
As of 2010 wind power amounted to 2.5% of the world’s energy production with an estimated 25% increase in quota each year. Yes, eolian power is one of the cleanest forms of energy production, but like any other renewable sources, its no entirely all green. During a wind power turbine’s manufacturing hundreds of tons of steel are used, which translates
I recently came across a great article written in the Washington Post which really gives some insight about the economics behind wind power and coal power. If you happen to listen to the more politicized or economic discussions, you’ll probably notice that the ball is thrown into the field of natural gas: many believe that low fortune of coal companies
According to a recently publicized rapport by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), renewable energy sources could account for as much as 80% of the US’s electricity demand by 2050. The rapport signals the various difficulties that need to be overcome to reach this goal, and note that while 80% might be very challenging to reach, a 50% reach
Lester Brown is “one of the world’s most influential thinkers”, according to the Washington Post, and the Calcutta refers to him as “the guru of the environmental movement”. He has been trying to analyze problems and also trying to find solutions to these problems. Books such as Seeds of Change (1970) and Who will Feed China? (1995) may have not