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Wind Energy: The Future for Power in Australia

wind farm vic2 Wind Energy: The Future for Power in Australiaturbine Wind Energy: The Future for Power in Australia

Imagine a naturally renewable resource so plentiful that theoretically the amount of power available is greater than current global energy consumption. Imagine if, once the necessities to harness this power were in place, no fuel was needed for continuing operation, and the power source was clean, widely distributed, and produced minimal greenhouse gas emissions. Now, look outside, and see the trees blowing in the wind. There lies that impossible source of power.

Of course, there are many barriers to reaching the seemingly incredible potential of wind power, namely economic and environmental factors, not to mention that the actual resource is far larger than any practical means of currently developing it. There’s always hope for the future, though, and if projected figures by the World Wind Energy Association are correct we can expect a net growth rate of more than 21% per year.

Currently, wind produces about 1.5% of global electricity, with leaders of the technology being Denmark (19% of electricity production), Spain and Portugal (10%). At present, Australia is lagging far behind these leaders – as of 2008, only 1% of our electricity is sourced from wind power – but we do have big plans, and by 2020 more than 20% of our energy could be produced from wind power!

Wind power is harnessed using wind turbines – a triple bladed rotar atop a tall tower – a technology first used in Denmark in the early 1980s. The turbines spin as wind passes through the blades, and this kinetic energy gives power to a generator, and is converted into electricity. Large-scale wind farms connected to local transmission networks account for the majority of electricity produced from wind power, however smaller, domestic turbines can be installed on properties, boats or caravans.  And, if you are interested, Rainbow Power Company has a great FAQ section on the installation of wind turbines.

Unfortunately, areas such as Pyrmont Village can’t be used as harnessing sites due to wind turbulence created by urban build-up – but this does not mean they can’t benefit from wind power harnessed elsewhere and fed into local networks.

wind turbine Wind Energy: The Future for Power in AustraliaIf you install any kind of harnessing mechanism for renewable energy – ranging from wind turbines, to solar hot water or solar pumping systems, you could be eligible for one of the Australian Government’s renewable energy rebates, subsidies or grants. To check out what is available visit the energy matters website. Not only will you be helping out the environment, but you could be saving thousands of dollars!

Whether or not you can directly utilize renewable energy sources right now, it is certainly a good idea to learn as much as you can about the various options available, because this is where the future of energy production lies.

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