Wind power involves turning energy from the wind into other forms of useful energy.
Wind power can be harnessed in a number of different ways. For example, windmills create mechanical energy, sails move boats and wind turbines generate electricity.
Windmills have been around for a long time, they were used in Persia (Iran) as far back as 200 B.C.
Wind energy is clean and renewable.
Large groups of wind turbines are called wind farms.
Around 80 different countries use wind power to generate electricity commercially (as of 2009).
In 1997 wind power generated only 0.1% of the world’s electricity, this increased to 1.5% in 2008 and 2.5% in 2010.
In some countries such as Denmark and Portugal, wind power contributes around 20% of the total electricity production.
The large blades of wind turbines can interfere with some radar systems used by weather stations or air traffic controls, at times being mistaken for planes or various weather patterns.
Smaller turbines are sometimes used to charge batteries or as backup power in caravans and sailing ships.
Modern wind turbines usually have 3 blades which can reach speeds at the tip of over 320 kph (200 mph).
The tips of large wind turbines can reach heights up to 200 m (650ft).
Wind turbines can even be installed offshore on floating structures, sending the electricity generated back to land with the help of undersea cables.