10 curious facts about wind energy

Would you like to know some interesting data and new ideas for developing this renewable form of energy?

Wind energy is certainly one renewable form of energy producing one of the largest volumes of electricity all over the world. That is why new advances around this type of clean energy are always arising, without ceasing to experience with prototypes and different locations for its wind turbines.

Would you like to know some interesting data and new ideas for developing this renewable form of energy?

Wind energy will employ 1´2 million people

1. Wind energy will employ 1.2 million people by 2020

These are the data gathered by the Global Energy Council (GWEC) in its publication of data on wind power. It means a great development as in 2012 there were 670,000 jobs related to this clean form of energy, which will practically mean they will double!



First air wind turbine

2. First air wind turbine in the world

Air streams above skyscrapers and buildings in cities are stronger and steadier than those on the ground level. In order to harness them, this amazing wind turbine hanging in the sky was thought up. It consists of a hollow cylinder, inflated with helium and a whirlwind propeller inside which makes the best use of the wind strength. Wind power companies are constantly innovating to develop wind turbines which are more and more efficient and competitive.



Bahrain World Trade Center

3. Wind turbines on skyscrapers

As a variant of the previous one, this one also seeks to maximise those air streams up on high. The first skyscrapers that had these wind turbines fit into are those of the Bahrain World Trade Center –a couple of bridges connect both buildings and support three huge turbines which are nearly 30 metres in diameter. They harness the strong Persian Gulf winds, which further intensify because of both skyscrapers’´ sail-shaped edges, working as funnels. Isn´t it amazing?


Wind turbines on facades

4. ‘Beehive’ wind turbines on facades

This way of harnessing the wind is able to generate power in almost all situations as it works at a low speed. It is a sort of modulable panel grid forming like a honeycomb that covers the fronts of the buildings. They are made up of blades which are 50 cm long and they can unfold for a better performance. This modulable system is known as Wind Cube.




Floating wind turbines

5. Floating wind turbines

Yes, floating in the sea. These wind turbines are built in a way that they can outstrip the strength of waves of up to 30 metres high. Windmills sway in the water, but do not sink as they keep floating on the same level. They float but are tied up by three guy ropes on the seabed, which can be as deep as 700 metres. These wind turbines are very efficient because they harness sea winds, which are usually stronger and steadier than the ground ones.



Spain leading country in generating electricity with wind power

6. Spain –leading country in 2013 in generating electricity with wind power

It is a significant milestone because during all that year the electricity supply coverage of wind power reached the 20.9%, surpassing the second one in a tenth, which was nuclear energy, with a 20.8%. In 2013 wind power generation was the highest one in history and it was equivalent to 90% of all Spanish households’ consumption!



Wind energy grows in Latin America

7. Wind energy grows in Latin America

South and Central America have grown their installed capacity almost tenfold since 2007. Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are the leading countries, with Brazil being now the third largest market in the globe in acquiring wind facilities. The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) report shows it is followed by Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.



Environmental impact

8. Wind installations have less environmental impact than it is thought: 

- Wind turbines make little noise: you can have a talk next to them without trouble, and when the wind and the noise intensify, so does the environmental noise. It corresponds roughly to the noise which can be heard from a fridge at a 50-metre distance.

- The impact is a positive one if we consider that they avoid CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.


 London Array

9. The largest wind farms in the world are…

- The largest wind farm in the world is Alta Wind Energy Center, located in California and it is made up of 586 turbines.

- The largest sea wind farm is London Array, which is also the sixth largest of the wind farms worldwide. It is found in the outer Thames Estuary 20 km off the coast. With 175 turbines, it can cover the power demand for 2/3 of Kent´s population.

Brush turbine

10. Origin of the first wind turbine

In 1888 the first supposed automatic wind turbine or also air generator was built to generate power: was the Brush turbine. It was 17 metres in diameter and it consisted of 144 blades made of cedar wood. In spite of its size, it was just a 12kW generator. It worked for 20 years powered by battery.



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More information: World Wind Energy Association, Global Energy Council