Remote sensing research improves hurricane response

Safe and uninterrupted road travel is crucial in the aftermath of storms so that people can access medical treatment, downed power lines can be removed and communities can begin a return to normalcy.

Europe saw warmest summer on record in 2021

Scientists say last summer was the hottest summer on record in Europe, with temperatures a full 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average for the previous three decades.

Can wind turbines and migrating birds coexist?

In the race to avoid runaway climate change, two renewable energy technologies are being pushed as the solution to powering human societies: wind and solar. But for many years, wind turbines have been on a collision course ...

Collision hotspots for migrating birds revealed in new study

New research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) highlights the areas in Europe and North Africa where the construction of wind turbines or power lines is likely to increase the risk of death for migrating birds.

Agriculture plays key role in limiting climate change

When it comes to solving Earth's climate crisis, the agricultural and forestry sectors are some of the hardest areas to change, yet a new report suggests that these areas will play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

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Wind power

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 121.2 gigawatts (GW). Wind power produces about 1.5% of worldwide electricity use, and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 11% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network. Smaller turbines are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels, because it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions; however, the construction of wind farms (as with other forms of power generation) is not universally welcomed due to their visual impact and other effects on the environment.

Wind power is non-dispatchable, meaning that for economic operation all of the available output must be taken when it is available, and other resources, such as hydropower, and standard load management techniques must be used to match supply with demand. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand. Where wind is to be used for a moderate fraction of demand, additional costs for compensation of intermittency are considered to be modest.

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