How does a wind turbine work?

Using abundant natural resources for better energy

What is wind power?

Wind as an energy source is free, plentiful, sustainable and renewable. All over the world, wind turbines capture power from the wind and convert it into electricity.

The Global Wind Energy Council has reported that wind energy could make up 20 percent of worldwide electricity production by 2030. Today, it’s at 4 percent. This production could create 2.4 million new jobs and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3.3 billion tons per year.

ENGIE is leading the transition to a zero-carbon economy, in part, by investing in wind farms in Australia and all around the world.

How does a wind turbine work?

Wind turbines use wind to make electricity. Here is how the process works:

Pros

  • It’s a free, renewable and readily available resource
  • It’s a clean fuel source
  • It’s cost effective
  • Turbines are becoming larger in size and more competitive in cost
  • Turbines can be built on existing farms
  • Windfarms can be built on-shore (i.e. inland) and off-shore (i.e. out in the ocean)

Cons

  • The windiest spots are sometimes in remote locations, far from where the power is needed and far from the transmission network
  • Wind is an intermittent resource (i.e. not constant), so electricity from wind power needs to be able to be stored for future use
Wind turbines are quiet…they sound roughly like a fridge if you’re standing 50 metres away
The biggest wind turbine in the world is in Hawaii. It stands 20 stories tall and has blades the length of a football field
Wind power is currently the cheapest source of large-scale renewable energy
A wind turbine has as many as 8,000 parts
Wind turbines can be installed at sea on floating structures, sending the electricity back to land through undersea cables




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