Wind Power:The Viable Fossil Fuel Alternative Essay

Wind Power:The Viable Fossil Fuel Alternative Essay

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As the harmful side effects of fossil fuel burning become evermore recognized, the use of clean, renewable technology becomes essential to our health, economy and environment. Petroleum and coal emit harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming, acid rain and a host of other aliments. Equally concerning is the dependence of the economy on a finite resource such as oil. With world energy consumption rapidly rising, demand is increasing for renewable energy sources that have no significant health impact or environmental degradation. Of all these so called “green” energy sources, wind power has been the most widely used. Wind power is based on the same principals as windmills used for centuries; wind turbines harness air currents to perform work. With modern advances, wind can now be used to power cities, industries and homes. While only currently supplying a minor amount of all US electricity, wind power has the potential to supply a significant amount of energy that will, unlike fossil fuels, never will be depleted or harm the environment.

Wind Power Technology

Wind as Energy

Wind power is actually a secondary form of solar power. The Earth receives about 1.74 x1017 kW/hour from the sun in the form of solar radiation. About 1-2% of that energy is absorbed by the air in the form of heat. Areas of the Earth closer to the sun, like the equator, receive far more sunlight than northern and southern regions, which corresponds to hotter air. The hot air then rises and drifts high into the atmosphere then natural drifts to the poles. As the Earth spins on its axis, the drifting air remains unaffected by the Earth’s movements. This difference in movement pattern is what causes wind; air is actually staying...


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[13] Energy From: Wind. 2012. Power Scorecard. 25 April 2014.
http://www.powerscorecard.org/tech_detail.cfm?resource_id=11

[14] American Wind Energy Association. 2014. American Wind Energy Association. 25 April 2014, http://www.awea.org

[15] Drew Robb. “Offshore Wind Struggles to Gain Foothold in North America.” Power Engineering. 8 (2002.) 11 May 2014. http://web2.infotrac-custom.com/pdfserve/get_item/1/S8726f7w3_1/SB335_01.pdf

[16] Lester R. Brown. Wind Power Set to Become World’s Leading Energy Source. 2003. Earth Policy Institute. 1 May 2014, http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update24.htm

[17] Windpower.org. 2004. Danish Wind Industry Association. 25 April 2014, http://www.windpower.org/en/core.htm

[18] Windpower.org. 2004. Danish Wind Industry Association. 25 April 2014,
http://www.windpower.org/en/core.htm

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