Eco-Living Magazine

Major Growth and Changes Coming in Wind Power

Posted on the 20 July 2012 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon
wind turbine Major Growth and Changes Coming in Wind Power

img source: Adrian S Jones via Flicker Creative Commons

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has indicated that the worldwide market in wind energy will grow to 450 GW by 2015. This is from a paltry 194.4 GW in comparison at the end of 2010. This is quite a lot of growth from the earliest of wind power inventions. People have been working to harness wind power for decades. A wind turbine to recharge batteries was even among the many Thomas Edison inventions thought up over a lifetime. That particular wind turbine never got off the ground, but many have since the idea of wind power was first thought up.

Wind power looks to have a bright future too. The GWEC expects demand for wind power to be particularly strong in Europe and China, but it is still to be seen how this demand will grow in the United States. Things are uncertain in the US as most manufacturers are hampered by uneven support for wind power.

Those wind power turbines are also getting bigger and bigger, capable of bringing in massive amounts of power. One company, wpd AG, is building wind farms in Poland using 4.8 megawatt and 6 megawatt turbines. This is double the average rated wind power unit which generates between 2.3 and 3 megawatts.

Another thing to note about wind power is that manufacturers are getting close to matching the price of fossil energy production. Soon, it won’t be any more expensive to use wind power, than it is to use gas or coal. To get to that all important number, manufacturers are working hard to develop technologies that can get turbines producing more and more power per turbine. If wind turbines can be developed to generate more power per unit, the overall costs of building units and installing units will go down. There are lots of exciting new changes on the horizon for wind power too. Things that even Thomas Edison could not have foreseen.

A potential new technology that will be seen in these turbines are PGMs, permanent magnet generators and superconductor wind turbine generators, especially in offshore wind turbines. These kinds of changes could result in even larger wind turbines. The question of where they end up being built, is another one to consider. However, these turbines could go a long way towards solving the world’s energy problems with a clean, renewable energy that will never fail as long as the Earth generates winds. As far as we know, that’s likely to continue for several millennia to come.

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