In our APES class, we are doing a research project on renewable energies. “Wind” came up across my mind immediately.
Since the first time I saw a huge turbine on TV, I’ve been curious about how the turbines work and how important they are.
Wind exists because the sun unevenly heats the surface of the Earth. As hot air rises, cooler air moves in to fill the void. Therefore, wind will blow as long as the sun shines.
The use of wind power originated back to the ancient mariners who used sails to capture the wind and explore the world. Later, farmers used windmills to grind their grains and pump water. Nowadays, more and more people are using wind turbines to wring electricity from the breeze.
Wind turbines have various sizes. The biggest wind turbines can generate enough electricity to supply about 600 U.S. homes, and farms sometimes have hundreds of these turbines lined up together in particularly windy spots such as ridges. Smaller turbines are mostly settled in the backyards to produce electricity that is enough for a single home or small business.
However, wind power also has disadvantages.
Wind turbine can be a threat to wildlife such as birds and bats. Wind, sun, and rain are not always consistent and are often hard to predict, which cannot always make for a reliable energy source unless the energy can be stored. In addition, wind turbines make plenty of noise which is regularly reported as a problem in the neighborhood.
The only thing I don’t really understand when I was doing research on the turbines was that many people think the turbines look ugly.
For me, I see nothing wrong with such clean and grand inventions. They work in the wind, they are brave!