Wind Energy Summary

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Wind energy is a clean, renewable source of energy. Only 1% of the total wind energy available is enough to fulfill all global energy needs, meaning wind is a potential source of an enormous amount of energy. The main drawback to wind energy is that it is noisy, intermittent, and to some unsightly. Other disadvantages cited are potential danger to birds, which may result in changes in migration patterns of some bird species, and shadow flicker – when moving blades cast shadow on nearby residences. However, wind turbine technology is undergoing rapid development: new composites have allowed substantial weight reduction, turbine noise is continually reduced, and new manufacturing technologies have allowed larger and larger blades-- making construction of multi megawatt turbines possible. At present, the average cost of production of electricity from wind energy is slightly higher than that from fossil fuel, but as demand for energy increases and fossil fuel sources deplete, the cost is rapidly becoming competitive with or even cheaper than those of nonrenewable sources of energy. Wind energy is expected to be a major energy source for most developing and island nations, as well as many developed European countries in the 21st century.


(1) Toossi Reza, "Energy and the Environment:Sources, technologies, and impacts", Verve Publishers, 2005

Further Reading

Gipe P., Wind Energy Basics, —A comprehensive guide to modern small wind technology. AWEA (

Elliott, D. et al., Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States, by American Wind Energy Association (

Khennas, S., Small wind systems for rural energy services, London: ITDG Pub., 2003.

Solar Energy, Direct Science Elsevier Publishing Company, the official journal of the International Solar Energy Society ®, is devoted to the science and technology of solar energy applications, and includes the indirect uses such as wind energy and biomass.

Home Power Magazine—bimonthly magazine for farm and home wind turbines (

External Links

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (

National Wind Technology Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: Wind Energy Technologies, US DOE (

American Wind Energy Association (