Energy & Green Tech

State commits to wind energy for 3.2M, eyes onshore sites

New Jersey formally committed itself Wednesday to using offshore wind energy to power 3.2 million homes and will study the best ways to get that electricity from ocean turbines to communities where it is needed.

Energy & Green Tech

Japan's Toshiba retreats from coal-fired power stations

Japanese engineering giant Toshiba will not build any more coal-fired power plants and will shift to renewable energy in a bid to reduce greenhouse emissions, the company's president said Wednesday.

Energy & Green Tech

Data mining windpower

Boris Johnson infamously once wrote that wind power can barely "pull the skin off a rice pudding." At the time of writing, his perspective has changed, and speaking as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom he is suggesting ...

Energy & Green Tech

Climate change impact on green energy production

As the climate of the planet is changing, as evidenced by record-setting hot summers and extreme weather events, many researchers are looking to more renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind farms.

Energy & Green Tech

Renewables in Europe: Land requirements can be reduced at low cost

Transitioning our energy supply from coal, oil and gas to wind and solar power is feasible. However, renewables require more land than conventional forms of energy generation. A new study explores the options to reduce the ...

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Wind power

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 121.2 gigawatts (GW). Wind power produces about 1.5% of worldwide electricity use, and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 11% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network. Smaller turbines are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels, because it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions; however, the construction of wind farms (as with other forms of power generation) is not universally welcomed due to their visual impact and other effects on the environment.

Wind power is non-dispatchable, meaning that for economic operation all of the available output must be taken when it is available, and other resources, such as hydropower, and standard load management techniques must be used to match supply with demand. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand. Where wind is to be used for a moderate fraction of demand, additional costs for compensation of intermittency are considered to be modest.

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