Technology

What is wind energy?

Wind energy is a converted form of solar energy. The sun's radiation heats different parts of the earth at different rates-most notably during the day and night, but also when different surfaces (for example, water and land) absorb or reflect at different rates.

This in turn causes portions of the atmosphere to warm differently.

 

Hot air rises, reducing the atmospheric pressure at the earth's surface, and cooler air is drawn in to replace it. The result is wind.


Air has mass, and when it is in motion, it contains the energy of that motion ("kinetic energy"). Some portion of that energy can converted into other forms mechanical force or electricity that we can use to perform work. 


Source: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_basics.html

How does a wind turbine work?

A wind turbine includes the following components:

  • blades, which convert the wind's energy into rotational shaft energy;
  • a nacelle containing a drive train, usually including a gearbox and a generator;
  • a tower, to support the rotor and drive train;
  • electronic equipment such as controls, electrical cables, ground support equipment, and interconnection equipment.

The electricity generated by a utility-scale wind turbine is normally collected and fed into utility power lines, where it is mixed with electricity from other power plants and delivered to utility customers.


Source: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_basics.html

How much energy does a wind turbine produce?

The ability to generate electricity is measured in watts. Watts are very small units, so the terms kilowatt (kW, 1,000 watts) and megawatt (MW, 1 million watts) are most commonly used to describe the capacity of generating units like wind turbines or other power plants.


Electricity production and consumption are most commonly measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and megawatt-hours (MWh). A kilowatt-hour means one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour.  A megawatt-hour means one megawatt (1 million watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour.


Source: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_basics.html

Is wind power energy-efficient in light of the power needed for manufacturing and installation?

It takes a wind turbine three to six months to produce the energy that goes into producing, operating and recycling the wind turbine after its 20 to 25 year lifetime.

 

Source: http://www.ewea.org

 

Economic Component

What are America's current sources of electricity?

Coal, the most polluting fuel and the largest source of the leading greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), is currently used to generate more than half of all of the electricity (52%) used in the United States. Other sources of electricity are: natural gas (16%), oil (3%), nuclear (20%), and hydropower (7%).

What does the U.S. wind industry contribute to the economy?

Wind power supplies affordable, inexhaustible energy to the economy. It also provides jobs and other sources of income. Best of all, wind powers the economy without causing pollution, generating hazardous wastes, or depleting natural resources—it has no "hidden costs." Finally, wind energy depends on a free fuel source—the wind—and so it is relatively immune to inflation.

In what other way does wind energy benefit the economy?

Wind farms can revitalize the economy of rural communities, providing steady income through lease or royalty payments to farmers and other landowners. Farmers can grow crops or raise cattle next to the towers. Wind farms may extend over a large geographical area, but their actual "footprint" covers only a very small portion of the land, making wind development an ideal way for farmers to earn additional income.


Additional income is generated from one-time payments to construction contractors and suppliers during installation, and from payments to turbine maintenance personnel on a long-term basis. Wind farms also expand the local tax base, and keep energy dollars in the local community instead of spending them to pay for coal or gas produced elsewhere.

Finally, wind also benefits the economy by reducing "hidden costs" resulting from air pollution and health care. Several studies have estimated that 50,000 Americans die prematurely each year because of air pollution.

I support the concept of wind power. How can I invest in it?

The wind industry includes many companies which derive some or much of their revenue from wind-related business.

Call us for further information or contact us at businessdevelopment(at)juwi.com

Environmental Benefit

What are the environmental benefits of wind power?

Wind turbines do not emit greenhouse gases or produce hazardous waste. Nor do they deplete natural resources such as coal, oil, or gas, or cause environmental damage through resource extraction and transportation.

The clean generation of wind power helps reduce the environmental damage caused by power production.

Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides cause acid rain. Acid rain harms forests and the wildlife they support. Many lakes in the U.S. Northeast have become biologically dead because of this form of pollution.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a global warming pollutant.The U.S., with 5% of the world's population, emits 23% of the world's CO2. The build-up of global warming pollution is not only causing a gradual rise in average temperatures, but also seems to be increasing fluctuations in weather patterns and causing more frequent and severe droughts and floods.

Development of just 10% of the wind potential in the 10 windiest U.S. states would provide more than enough energy to displace emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants and eliminate the nation's major source of acid rain; reduce total U.S. emissions of CO2 by almost a third; and help contain the spread of asthma and other respiratory diseases aggravated or caused by air pollution in this country.

If wind energy were to provide 20% of the nation's electricity -- a very realistic and achievable goal with the current technology -- it could displace more than a third of the emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Does the use of wind energy reduce the amount of toxic particles in the air?

Particulate matter is of growing concern because of its impacts on health. Its presence in the air along with other pollutants has contributed to make asthma one of the fastest growing childhood ailments in industrial and developing countries alike, and it has also recently been linked to lung cancer. Similarly, urban smog has been linked to low birth weight, premature births, stillbirths and infant deaths.

 

In the United States, the research has documented ill effects on infants even in cities with modern pollution controls. Toxic heavy metals accumulate in the environment and up the biological food chain. A number of states have banned or limited the eating of fish from fresh-water lakes because of concerns about mercury, a toxic heavy metal, accumulating in their tissue.

Does wind power generation consume fresh water?

Unlike most other electricity generation sources, wind turbines don’t consume water. Irrigation and thermal electric generation account for approximately 77% of U.S. fresh water use.

 

Conventional plants generating power from fossil and nuclear fuels use large amounts of water for cooling; wind turbines do not use water. That makes wind energy a great choice for drought-stricken communities in rural America.

Impact Of Wind Farm Development In My Region

If my utility uses more wind energy, will that make my electric rates go up?

Yes, probably, but not much. Let's say that wind energy costs 2 cents more per kilowatt-hour (2 cents/kWh) than the rest of the electricity your utility is generating or buying—a conservative estimate.  If your utility were to decide to use wind energy to generate 10% of its electricity (more than nearly all utilities in the U.S.), then the added cost to you would be 0.2 cents/kWh. An average U.S. home uses about 800 kWh per month, so you would pay an extra $1.60 per month, or about a nickel a day. 

   

Source: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_costs.html

 

Does the installation of a wind farm contribute significantly to bird mortality?

Wind power’s overall impact on birds, bats, other wildlife and natural habitats is extremely low, compared with other human (and feline)-related activities.


Bird protection NGOs recognise climate change as the main threat to bird species and wind energy is a key solution to climate change.


Extensive efforts are made to avoid siting wind farms in areas which might attract large numbers of birds or bats, such as migration routes.

Will turbines in my community be noise-pollutant?

Noise from turbines is rarely heard at distances further away than 300m. Background noise from wind in trees, for example, would be louder.


A Canadian study found "there is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds
emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.”*


The French Agency for Sanitary Security, Environment, and Work (AFSSET) concluded
"noise generated by wind turbines does not have any direct health impact.”

 

*‘Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects: An Expert Panel Review’, by W. David Colby, M.D. Robert Dobie, M.D. Geoff Leventhall, Ph.D. David M. Lipscomb, Ph.D. Robert J. McCunney, M.D. Michael T. Seilo, Ph.D. Bo Søndergaard, M.Sc.

What about turbines throwing blades, or ice? Is wind energy dangerous to the public?

In 20 years of operation, the wind industry has recorded only one death of a member of the public—a German skydiver who parachuted off-course into an operating wind plant. 

Compared to the effects on public health caused by pollution from conventional methods of producing electricity, wind energy is not dangerous to the public.  Blade throws were common in the industry's early years, but are unheard of today because of better turbine design and engineering. Ice throw, while it can occur, is of little danger because required setbacks are sufficient to protect against danger to the public, and because ice buildup slows a turbine's rotation and will be sensed by a turbine's control system, causing the turbine to shut down.

Can the so-called "shadow flicker" have a negative impact on my every day life?

Wind turbines’ blades can cast a moving shadow, depending on the time of the year and day. It is possible to calculate very precisely whether a shadow will fall on a given location near a wind farm, and how many hours in a year it will do so.  Generally, it is not a problem in the U.S. because at mid-latitudes the sun's angle is not very low in the sky.  The appropriate setback for noise is sufficient to prevent shadow flicker problems.

 

Landowner Information

I own land that is windy. How can I benefit from that?

A first step is to find out more about just how windy your land is—its "wind resource."  

Call us for additional information or contact us at landowners(at)juwi.com

How much land is needed for a utility-scale wind power plant?

In open, flat terrain, a utility-scale wind plant will require about 60 acres per megawatt of installed capacity. However, only 5% (3 acres) or less of this area is actually occupied by turbines, access roads, and other equipment--95% remains free for other compatible uses such as farming or ranching. Wind energy provides rural landowners and farmers with a supplementary source of income through leasing and royalty arrangements with wind power developers.

If turbines are installed on my property, am I still able to use it for farming?

Yes. Even a utility-scale turbine has only a rather small footprint. You will be able to farm your land right up to the foundation and potential access roads.

 

It is also possible to let cattle graze under wind turbines because previous experience shows that there is no negative impact.

If wind turbines generate electricity on my property, does this affect my quality of life in my home?

No, because regulatory provisions ensure that certain defined setbacks are observed by the wind farm developer. These setbacks prevent your home from being affected by noise and shadow flicker and confirm that a wind turbine can pose no hazard to your home.

 

 

juwi Wind LLC

Headquarters

4845 Pearl East Circle, Suite 200

Boulder, Colorado 80301

USA

 

office. +1.303.953.5180

fax.      +1.303.953.5185

 

E-Mail: information(at)juwi.com