A new material for the battery of the future

Renewable sources of energy such as wind or photovoltaic are intermittent; production peaks do not necessarily follow the demand peaks. Storing green energy is therefore essential to moving away from fossil fuels. The energy ...

Montana energy storage project lines up financial partner

Construction on a $1 billion energy storage system in central Montana could start as soon as next year after its sponsors said Friday they reached a financing agreement with a Danish firm that invests in renewable energy.

Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis

Most renewable power technologies are weather dependent. Wind farms can only operate when there's a breeze, and solar power plants rely on sunlight. Researchers at EPFL are working on a method to capture an energy source ...

New whistle alerts bats to steer clear of wind turbines

Wind turbines are a critical component in the strategy for energy independence, but these massive structures are also killing bats. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the more than 52,000 wind turbines operating in ...

Dynamic energy management system for SMBs

Solar power, wind power and the lot – the growing use of renewable energy sources is resulting in substantial fluctuations in energy production. Fraunhofer researchers have now made it possible to design industrial processes ...

Artificial intelligence improves power transmission

To integrate volatile renewable sources into the energy supply, capacities of the power grid have to be increased. The need for new lines can be reduced by better utilization of existing lines as a function of weather conditions. ...

Building a better turbine

Imagine a world in which half of our electricity is generated renewably by offshore wind farms. Now imagine a powerful hurricane hitting the coast where that farm is located. If developers, engineers and policy makers haven't ...

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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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