Global Wind Day
June 15th is the day set aside to discover wind, its power and possibilities to reshape our energy future. Global Wind Day is when you can visit wind farms, meet experts and find out everything you want to know about wind energy.
Using the wind as a power source is not a new idea. Windmills have been used to grind grain and pump water for thousands of years. When you think of the Netherlands, one of the first images that pops into your head is a windmill in a field of tulips. It is with the development of the wind turbine wind has become an option in the search for clean energy.
With World and industry leaders striving to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Accord, alternative power sources are becoming more vital for weaning the world from fossil fuels. Wind energy is one option under consideration and is beginning to make inroads in the energy market. With the availability of constant uniform winds, commercial offshore facilities are becoming more widespread in Europe and beginning to make advances into the North American market, with the Block Island Wind Farm being completed December 2016.
Offshore wind farms are producing electricity for Japan, Netherlands and Great Britain, with Germany, Denmark and Belgium committed to new offshore wind farms. Proponents of wind energy offer offshore wind farms as a viable alternative to offshore oil & gas drilling. The construction and maintenance of these offshore wind turbines would create twice the number of jobs, provide a higher return of clean energy and start producing energy more quickly. The major obstacle now to wind energy is the age and condition of the electrical power grid.
DONG (Danish Oil and Natural Gas) Energy is the European leader in offshore wind projects and highlights the changing attitudes to green energy in Europe. Advances in wind turbine technology and a drop in the costs of the equipment have led to a 50% drop in the price of wind generated electricity. The location of these turbines offshore benefit from the stronger winds found at sea and attract less protests as there are no immediate neighbors to complain. Some proponents claim that the existence of these wind farms offshore can lessen the effect of hurricanes by reducing some of the wind energy the storm is generating.
Once Europe can upgrade their power grid integration and develop viable storage options for any excess power generated by these wind turbines, wind energy could provide 30% of the EU power consumption by the year 2030. With the completion of the first US offshore wind facility and the planning of more in other coastal regions, the future of wind energy is looking very promising.