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Wind Energy: A Renewable Energy Essay

1802 words - 7 pages

1. OverviewNowadays a huge amount of electricity is used. Unfortunately not all of the energy which is used is renewable. People have to start thinking about using more and more renewable energy as our environment obviously seems to suffer under the huge amount of pollution which is going in our atmosphere causing some serious damages. So called greenhouse gases are causing several damages on our earth. Climate change, kind of hurricanes, the hole in the ozone layer, draughts in some parts of the earth, earthquakes and the so called forest dieback are just some of them. If we start using the renewable energy more often, we can help stopping these damages and probably improve the condition of our environment.There exists numerous kind of renewable energy such as solar energy, biomass, geo energy, water power, bio energy, geothermal heat, ocean energy such as energy produced from waves and wind energy.In the following pages I would like to focus specifically on wind energy. First of all, I will give you a short introduction to wind energy, before I am going on to tell you something about the history and the mechanic of a windmill. Then I would like to mention the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy before I come up to my conclusion, which specifically focuses on the Republic of Ireland.As there is an urgent need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, wind turbines, either singly or in multiple arrays, both onshore and offshore, is one opportunity to get closer to this target. At the present time there are nearly 70,000 turbines installed world-wide. Europe is leading in the development of wind-generating capacity, expected to rise from less than 30'000MW in 2003 to 75'000MW in 2010 and possibly 180'000MW in 2020. Germany is currently the primary producer of wind power in Europe, with nearly 15'000MW of capacity, followed by Spain. Denmark is the country which produces the greatest proportion of its energy requirements from wind and also dominates the global export market. The USA, which was the first commercial provider of wind energy, has fallen behind Europe and presently has about one fifth of the European generating capacity. India, Australia, New Zealand, China and other countries are developing their wind generating capacity. China, which has become a large importer of fossil fuels, has the potential to install 170'000MW of wind power by 20202. Introduction to wind energyWind is air in motion. It is produced by the uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun. Since the earth's surface is made of various land and water formations, it absorbs the sun's radiation unevenly. When the sun is shining during the day, the air over the landmasses is heated more quickly, than the air over the water. The warm air over the land expands and rises. The heavier, cooler air over the water moves in, to take its place and creates local winds. At night, the winds are reversed because the air cools more rapidly over the land than over the water....

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