Wind energy is undoubtedly one of the most widely used and important renewable energies in the world It is capable of generating electricity from the force of the wind. It is a renewable energy production process that has led to incredible innovations in recent years. These advances have all been made with the same aim: to generate clean energy in order to limit global warming.
Want to know some interesting and surprising facts about wind energy?
1. Wind energy will employ 4 million people by 2030
These are the figures provided by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) in its publication on the role of wind energy in the Green Recovery. This represents a huge expansion, since in 2018 the number of jobs related to this clean energy was 1.2 million, which will almost quadruple!
2. The world's first airborne wind turbine for generating renewable energy
The air currents above skyscrapers and city buildings are stronger and more constant than those found at ground level. To take advantage of them, the idea to create this impressive wind turbine suspended in the sky was born. A hollow cylinder, inflated with helium and housing a wind turbine that exploits the force of the wind to the maximum. The wind industry is constantly innovating to develop increasingly efficient and competitive wind turbines.
3. ‘Beehive’ wind turbines on façades
This way of taking advantage of the wind can generate energy in almost any situation, since it works even at low speeds. It involves a kind of network of modular panels forming a honeycomb-like structure that covers the façades of buildings. The panels have blades with a length of 50 cm, which can be unfolded to increase efficiency. This modular system is known as the Wind Cube.
4. The union of wind and sun in wind and photovoltaic energy
Seeing the wind and the sun working together is already a reality in renewables. This hybridisation between wind and photovoltaic energy consists of covering the tower of a wind turbine with flexible organic panels. The energy that it generates makes this system even more sustainable, since it is designed to cover the internal electricity consumption of the wind turbine.
5. China now produces 37 % of the world’s wind energy
China is the world leader in wind energy, with more than a third of global capacity. In the ranking of world producers, it is followed by the United States, Germany, India and Spain.
6. Wind energy as an ally against the economic crisis
Each new wind turbine generates EUR 10 million of new economic activity. This makes wind power a good sector to invest in for a green economic recovery. In addition, combating the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change requires a common roadmap.
7. Wind power plants have less environmental impact than people think:
- Wind turbines make little noise: you can converse quietly at the foot of a turbine, and when the wind and noise are higher, so is the ambient noise. It makes about the same amount of noise that you can hear from a refrigerator at 50 m.
-The impact is positive if we take into account the atmospheric CO2 emissions that are avoided.
8. The world's largest wind farms are…
- Gansu is the largest wind farm in the world, with an expected installed capacity of 20 GW. It has 7,000 wind turbines installed in the provinces of Jiuquan, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Xinjiang, Jiangsu and Shandong in Gansu, China.
- The largest offshore wind farm is the Walney Extension, in the middle of the Irish Sea, with a capacity of 659 megawatts, enough to provide energy to 590,000 households.
9. The biggest wind turbine in the world: the colossus of renewable energies
Twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, the Haliade-X is currently the biggest wind turbine in the world. It is 260 metres high and has a rotor span of 220 metres, capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households.
10. The history of the first wind turbine
1888 saw the construction of what is believed to have been the first automatic electricity-generating wind turbine. It had a diameter of 17 metres, and consisted of 144 blades made from cedar wood. Despite its size, the generator produced only 12 kW and operated for 20 years charging batteries.
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