ERIC Number: ED205433
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Wind Power: A Turning Point. Worldwatch Paper 45.
Recent studies have shown wind power to be an eminently practical and potentially substantial source of electricity and direct mechanical power. Wind machines range from simple water-pumping devices made of wood and cloth to large electricity producing turbines with fiberglass blades nearly 300 feet long. Wind is in effect a form of solar energy--approximately two percent of the sunlight that falls on the earth's surface is converted to the kinetic energy of wind through a system in which warm and cool air move in different patterns. Wind power, which was first considered by planners and the business community as a serious power source only after the oil embargo in 1973, is already an economically attractive source of energy in many regions. It has been estimated that approximately one million mechanical wind pumps are in use today, predominantly in Argentina, Australia, and the United States. To help realize the full potential of wind power technology, several developments are necessary, including new designs which can operate in the often harsh conditions of developing nations and an increased infrastructure that includes a market for spare parts and repair services. The conclusion is that wind power and other renewable energy sources can make a substantial contribution to energy needs in the near future. The implication is that governments should continue to fill wind power research gaps and should increase support of development efforts. (DB)
Descriptors: Developed Nations, Developing Nations, Energy, Power Technology, Solar Radiation, Technological Advancement, Utilities
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.