Wind energy is an unlimited source of energy. Many countries, including the United States, use wind energy to some degree. Wind turbines generate electricity by spinning in the wind. There are two main types of wind turbines: the horizontal axis variety and the vertical axis design. The horizontal type is the more common which looks like a traditional windmill. Electricity generated from wind turbines is fed into a local utility grid and distributed just like ordinary electricity. Some wind turbines are twenty stories tall and have propellers that could cover a football field.
A wind turbine of this size generates enough electricity to power 1400 homes.
All wind turbines are comprised of the rotor (propellers), the electrical generator, a speed control system, and a tower. The United States have several good wind areas that could be used to generate electricity. These areas are the east coast, the Appalachian Mountain range, the Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. North Dakota alone has enough wind energy to supply 36% of all electricity of the lower forty-eight states.
Wind speeds are classed by wind-power density classes, ranging from 1 (the lowest), to 7 (the highest). Good wind resources (class 3 and above) have an average annual wind speed of 13 miles per hour. There are some drawbacks to using wind energy. Some of them are noise, the killing of birds, and some people do not like the appearance of the wind towers. It also costs more to start a wind farm than it does to start a conventional plant.
Wind does not always blow when electricity is needed. Wind farms arent usually located near cities where most of the energy is needed. Wind energy also has several good points. It has created thousands of jobs and wind does not cost anything like oil or coal. If an individual owns a small wind turbine any excess electricity produced can be sold to a local utility company.
In conclusion, I believe that by 2050, at least 45% of Americas electricity will be produced by the wind. However, wind energy will never power all of America because wind does not blow all the time. There lies a large future ahead for the wind.