Wind energy

Wind is produced as a result of giant convection currents in the Earth's atmosphere, which are driven by heat energy from the Sun.

This means that wind is a renewable energy resource providing kinetic energy - as long as the Sun exists, the wind will too.

Tower attached to underground foundation. Nacelle containing generator at top of tower. Blades connect to generator. Wind causes blades to rotate. Kinetic energy converted to electricity by generator.

Wind turbines use the wind to drive turbines directly.

They have huge blades mounted on a tall tower.

The blades are connected to a 'nacelle', or housing, which contains gears linked to a generator.

As the wind blows, it transfers some of its kinetic energy to the blades, which turn and drive the generator.

Several wind turbines may be grouped together to form a wind farm.

Advantages

  • It is a renewable energy resource.
  • There are no fuel costs.
  • No harmful polluting gases are produced.

Disadvantages

  • Wind farms are noisy and may spoil the view for people living near them.
  • The amount of electricity generated depends on the strength of the wind.
  • If there is no wind, there is no electricity.