Wind energy, currently the cheapest renewable energy source, involves the generation of electricity from the naturally occurring power of the wind.
Wind turbines capture wind energy within the area swept by their blades, proportional to the wind speed cubed, up to the designed maximum blade speed. The blades in turn drive an electrical generator to produce power for export to the grid.
Sites where there is strong, consistent wind, such as Southern Australia, are the most appropriate locations for wind farms. An excellent wind site is generally considered to provide average wind speeds greater than 8 metres per second at ground level.
In 2009 estimated wind energy generation saved Australia 4,284,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is equivalent to: the removal of 952,000 cars from our roads.
Wind power can be grid connected or used as one of the energy sources for an off-grid system.
As an additional environmental benefit, no water is needed for wind farm operation.
This information is sourced from the Clean Energy Council of Australia. For more information on any of these technologies, go to: