Wind Power

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Chris, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    There are now many thousands of wind turbines operating, with a total capacity of 73,904 MW of which wind power in Europe accounts for 65% (2006). Wind power is the fastest growing energy source.[56] World wind generation capacity more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. 81% of wind power installations are in the US and Europe, but the share of the top five countries in terms of new installations fell from 71% in 2004 to 62% in 2006. In 2007, the countries with the highest total installed capacity were Germany, the United States, Spain, India, and China (see chart).

    By 2010, the World Wind Energy Association expects 160GW of capacity to be installed worldwide,[57] up from 73.9 GW at the end of 2006, implying an anticipated net growth rate of more than 21% per year.

    Denmark generates nearly one-fifth of its electricity with wind turbines -- the highest percentage of any country -- and is fifth in the world in total wind power generation. Denmark is prominent in the manufacturing and use of wind turbines, with a commitment made in the 1970s to eventually produce half of the country's power by wind.

    In recent years, the United States has added more wind energy to its grid than any other country; U.S. wind power capacity grew by 45% to 16.8 gigawatts in 2007.[58] By mid-2008, U.S. wind power installed nameplate capacity was still second behind Germany's, but the U.S. became the world's largest wind power producer by having better average winds over its wind farms, and thus a higher average capacity factor.[59][60] Texas has recently surpassed California's installed capacity developed or under construction. In 2007, the state expects to add 2 gigawatts to its existing capacity of approximately 4.5 gigawatts. Iowa and Minnesota are expected to each produce 1 gigawatt by late-2007.[61] Wind power generation in the U.S. was up 31.8% in February, 2007 from February, 2006.[62] The average output of one megawatt of wind power is equivalent to the average electricity consumption of about 250 American households. According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind will generate enough electricity in 2008 to power just over 1% (4.5 million households) of total electricity in U.S., up from less than 0.1% in 1999. U.S. Department of Energy studies have concluded wind harvested in the Great Plains states of Texas, Kansas, and North Dakota could provide enough electricity to power the entire nation, and that offshore wind farms could do the same job.[63][64] In addition, the wind resource over and around the Great Lakes, recoverable with currently available technology, could by itself provide 80% as much power as the U.S. and Canada currently generate from non-renewable resources.[65]

    India ranks 4th in the world with a total wind power capacity of 8,000 MW in 2007, or 3% of all electricity produced in India. The World Wind Energy Conference in New Delhi in November 2006 has given additional impetus to the Indian wind industry.[57] Muppandal village in Tamil Nadu state, India, has several wind turbine farms in its vicinity, and is one of the major wind energy harnessing centres in India led by majors like Suzlon, Vestas, Micon among others.[66][67]

    In 2005, China announced it would build a 1000-megawatt wind farm in Hebei for completion in 2020. China reportedly has set a generating target of 20,000 MW by 2020 from renewable energy sources — it says indigenous wind power could generate up to 253,000 MW. Following the World Wind Energy Conference in November 2004, organised by the Chinese and the World Wind Energy Association, a Chinese renewable energy law was adopted. In late 2005, the Chinese government increased the official wind energy target for the year 2020 from 20 GW to 30 GW.[68] By 2008, wind power was growing faster in China than the government had planned, and indeed faster in percentage terms than in any other large country, having more than doubled each year since 2005. Policymakers doubled their wind power prediction for 2010, after the wind industry reached the original goal of 5 GW three years ahead of schedule.[69] Current trends suggest an actual installed capacity near 20 GW by 2010, with China shortly thereafter pursuing the United States for the world wind power lead.[69]

    Mexico recently opened La Venta II wind power project as an important step in reducing Mexico's consumption of fossil fuels. The 88 MW project is the first of its kind in Mexico, and will provide 13 percent of the electricity needs of the state of Oaxaca. By 2012 the project will have a capacity of 3500 MW.

    Another growing market is Brazil, with a wind potential of 143 GW.[70] The federal government has created an incentive program, called Proinfa,[71] to build production capacity of 3300 MW of renewable energy for 2008, of which 1422 MW through wind energy. The program seeks to produce 10% of Brazilian electricity through renewable sources.

    South Africa has a proposed station situated on the West Coast north of the Olifants River mouth near the town of Koekenaap, east of Vredendal in the Western Cape province. The station is proposed to have a total output of 100MW although there are negotiations to double this capacity. The plant could be operational by 2010.

    France has announced a target of 12,500 MW installed by 2010.

    Canada experienced rapid growth of wind capacity between 2000 and 2006, with total installed capacity increasing from 137 MW to 1,451 MW, and showing an annual growth rate of 38%.[72] Particularly rapid growth was seen in 2006, with total capacity doubling from the 684 MW at end-2005.[73] This growth was fed by measures including installation targets, economic incentives and political support. For example, the Ontario government announced that it will introduce a feed-in tariff for wind power, referred to as 'Standard Offer Contracts', which may boost the wind industry across the province.[74] In Quebec, the provincially-owned electric utility plans to purchase an additional 2000 MW by 2013.[75]

    Wind power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the winds blow.
     
  3. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    I hate wikipedia
     
  4. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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  5. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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  6. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Yet all that land is not going to be used and set aside for wind... it is not practical...
     
  7. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    to replace all the nuclear plants in the U.S. with wind, we would need an area the size of the state of Wisconsin.
    if wind turbines were packed closely together, to replace all of coal we'd only need an area equivalent to the size of West Virginia.
     
  8. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Once we get all those windmills going we might just blow out of a life sustaining orbit. Everyone don your spacesuits :D
     
  9. del
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    del BANNED

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    we could have some rocking minigolf courses, though.
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    brilliant! wire up them putt putt courses ! and treadmills in gyms too.! :lol:
     

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