Monday, May 4, 2009

You can use wind generated power for your home.

By Bart Forcey

The need for alternative fuel sources has been a topic of hot debate and dire concern for decades. It is only as we reach points of energy catastrophe and economic peril that the issue is taken seriously. Researchers and scientists in many countries have been planning for this time with research and practice in wind farms. The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have all begun investing in wind technology.

Wind farms are housed both onshore and offshore. Off shore wind farms are a relatively new occurrence with the largest being off the coast of Scotland. The turbines are placed in rows along the ocean floor in shallow waters close to shore. California's central valley has been home to wind farms for almost 30 years. The wind generated in the central valley is fed into the public energy grid. Because wind is an intermittent energy source it is often used as an energy supplement.

Great Britain plans to have the country powered by wind energy by 2020. This would be possible in major part to the topography of the ocean floor surrounding Great Britain. The floor is shelved and shallow making the cost of installing turbines manageable. The ideal spot for an offshore wind farm in the United States would be Cape Cod. The pacific coast of the United States is steep and treacherous making onshore wind farms a better option.

Off shore wind power generation is more consistent than onshore wind turbines because winds at sea are more consistent, stronger, and the turbines can be much larger. However, offshore wind generated power is only one piece of the wind power puzzle. Benefits of onshore power farms are sources of income for landowners, tax benefits, and job creation.

The cost of turbines seems to be a sticking point for those selling the technology. Although the turbines pay themselves off faster than any other source of energy infrastructure, there is still apprehension at investing such a large sum in a still developing technology. Even without complete support, wind power has a yearly production of more than 100 billion kilowatt hours worldwide.

Denmark has led the way in wind generated power and encouraged participation from countries like the U.S. and the U.K. There is great hope that wind generated power can create energy independence for developing nations Like Africa and Nicaragua.

Wind generated power projects are generally funded by governments and non governmental organizations world wide. Employment outlooks for this sector are increasing especially with the U.S. President Obama committing more funding to the industries of alternative energy production. The American Wind Energy Associate estimates that 4.8 jobs will be created for every 1 mega watt of wind power installed.

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