What is wind power?

In plain English

The wind is a clean, free, and readily available renewable energy source. Each day, around the world, wind turbines are capturing the wind’s power and converting it to electricity. Wind power generation plays an increasingly important role in the way we power our world – in a clean, sustainable manner.

But how is wind energy created? Wind turbines allow us to harness the power of the wind and turn it into energy. When the wind blows, the turbine’s blades spin clockwise, capturing energy. This triggers the main shaft of the wind turbine, connected to a gearbox within the nacelle, to spin. The gearbox sends that wind energy to the generator, converting it to electricity. Electricity then travels to a transformer, where voltage levels are adjusted to match with the grid.CHECK OUT THE INSIDE OF A WIND TURBINE

GREEN ELECTRONS

What are the advantages—and challenges—of wind power?

Wind power is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world because of its many advantages. Wind power also presents inherent challenges in some regions of the world, which are being addressed through research and development (R&D) projects around the globe.

  • Wind power is cost-effective in many regions. In others, wind power needs to compete with other energy sources, but global R&D efforts are working on solutions to reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of both onshore and offshore wind power.
  • Another advantage to wind power is that it is a domestic source of energy, harnessing a limitless local resource. Some viable locations for wind farms, however, are located remote areas that would present challenges in construction and electricity transmission logistics. Technology breakthrough such as two-piece blades and modular construction are helping overcome such challenges.
  • An additional benefit of wind power is it is a sustainable source of energy, as wind turbine operation does not directly emit any CO2 or greenhouse gases—helping countries meet their emission reduction targets and combating climate change. Wind energy is plentiful, readily available, and capturing its power does not deplete our valuable natural resources. In fact, an environmental benefit to wind power is its ability to counter the detrimental effects of climate change. The Global Wind Energy Outlook projects that by 2030 wind energy will offset 2.5 billion tons per year of carbon