To celebrate Global Wind Day (June 15), let’s talk about some amazing and fun wind energy facts.
1. Wind Energy is a Form of Solar
Wind energy is one of the oldest types known to humanity and is still used today. One of the wind energy facts that are hard to get your mind around is it’s a form of solar energy because it is largely created by temperature differences made by the sun as it moves across the globe. We use the movement of air to produce energy without needing the rare materials in solar cells.
2. Wind Energy is Not Used Just to Produce Electricity
Wind energy has been used for millennia to provide mechanical energy to save labor. Wind turns turbines in order to grind grain or pump water, or the wind can move the large mass of a ship. Today, the wind is still used to improve the fuel efficiency of some large ships, even though they’re not sailing ships. Windmills were also used to shape the landscape of places like The Netherlands.
3. Wind Industry Employs Americans
Here are some wind energy facts that are encouraging: the wind industry in the U.S. employs about 105,000 Americans. The industry grew by 9% in 2017 and added 7,017 million watts (MW) of capacity to the U.S. energy grid. We have 54,000 wind turbines in the U.S., and our wind energy capacity has tripled in the last 10 years. Out of all our renewable sources of electricity, it’s the largest.
4. Offshore Wind Energy Produces More Electricity
This is a cutting-edge area of development in wind energy: placing wind turbines on floating platforms at sea and on the Great Lakes. Offshore wind is stronger and more consistent than land-based wind. So, one of the more unbelievable of all wind energy facts is that offshore wind farms have the potential to produce double the electricity of all U.S. power plants!
We can make turbines so large that the pieces are impossible to transport on U.S. roads. But at sea, we can easily move all the pieces on ships. The Block Island Wind Farm can power 14,000 homes with just five turbines. It can reduce the electricity rates on Rhode Island by about 40%.
5. Wind Energy Benefits Our Economy
Here are some more positive wind energy facts. Farmers and ranchers use wind energy to produce cash to help them stay in business during droughts. They collect lease payments to allow turbines on their land. This enriches rural communities with the landowners’ higher taxes, which contribute to public services. In fact, 71% of all wind farms are in low-income counties, which are now benefiting from billions of dollars in wind energy investments. And one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. is “wind turbine technician.”
6. Wind Energy Protects Public Health
Most people wouldn’t think wind energy facts would include something about health. But wind energy is abundant enough now that it’s reducing air pollution, which reduces smog. And smog aggravates asthma and causes other lung diseases. The American Lung Association has stated that clean energy, in general, helps protect people from the health problems associated with air pollution. Renewable, non-combustion energy sources like wind can help.
7. Small Wind Energy Projects Can Power Your Home, Farm, or Business
Small and community wind energy projects can power a home, a farm, or a small business. You can completely power a residence or just cut your energy bill and let your wind turbine pay for itself over time. A small turbine can fit on even a one-acre property. Or a business or community can create a small wind project together, and local owners can own a good percentage of their project.
Here at Kiwi Energy, we do take steps through options like RECs and carbon offsets to do our part to try and help the cause of helping the environment. To participate in creating a more sustainable future, join Kiwi Energy today.