Wind power has been around for a long time. Our ancestors used wind power to sail their boats on voyages of discovery around the world. Wind power has been used to pump water and power machines for thousands of years.
Before the advent of steam power in the 18th century, the United Kingdom had more than 10,000 windmills that were used in energy production. They now have about 3,800 and rising.
Wind is probably the one renewable energy source that comes under fire for a reason that has nothing to do with energy creation, but everything to do with the look of them.
Some folks love the look of the wind turbines. Some folks have a problem with them. Have you wondered why people are happy to live alongside thousands of kilometres of telegraph poles and wires crisscrossing the countryside, but get emotional about a few wind towers? Humans are not rational creatures!
Should these clean power generators be built to make somewhere look better or worse? Or are they are there to provide clean energy so future generations can survive on clean energy to have an opinion on aesthetics?
It tends to be very windy on coastal areas and the last thing that you may want is a 100-metre wind tower hovering over your dream coastal cottage. Daryl Kerrigan (in the classic Australian movie The Castle, 1997) holidayed under the power lines at Bonnie Doon. He marveled at them and loved them. They reminded him of man’s ability to produce electricity.
On the other hand, you may be a farmer with land in a windy part of the country who is happy to take a heap of money from some bloke who wants to lease a few acres for wind farming – you can almost hear the farmers giggling from here (well they would be if it weren’t for the droughts, floods and bad weather)!
Given that there’s lots of wind, it’s surprising that we haven’t made the most of this cheap and easy energy source. It seems there is a lot of hot winded debate around Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) when it comes to wind farms and the potential benefits
Wind is not constant, but it is always blowing somewhere. If the turbines are spread far enough they can capture the wind energy and put it into the grid. Wind alone will not solve our energy needs, but it is an important part of the solution.