Wind energy is a renewable source of energy and offers a green alternative to fossil fuels. It is not used worldwide on a larger scale, but in some countries it still represents 10% of electric supply.
It all started with the windmill. A windmill is a type of engine. It uses the wind to make energy. Usually, a windmill is a large building that has rotating sails to ‘catch' the wind. The energy made by windmills can be used in many ways. These include grinding grain or spices, pumping water or sawing wood. Modern wind power machines are used to create electricity. These are called ‘wind turbines'.
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power. The result of windmill development and modern engineering, today's wind turbines are manufactured in a wide variety. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for boats or caravans or to power traffic warning signs. Slightly larger turbines can be used for making small contributions to a domestic power supply while selling unused power back to the supplier. Arrays of large turbines, known as wind farms, are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy.
The future is very bright when it comes to wind power. Today, wind turbines are becoming more efficient and are able to produce more electricity. Before long, we may see a huge increase in small wind turbines for home owners.
The first wind generator in Slovenia was built in 2012 in Dolenja Vas near Senožeče. 20 more generators were planned, but the local community stopped this project. Many birds nest in this area and the land itself is a part of a national park. Wind turbines also kill birds, mammals and insects. Rare migratory birds like swallows, which are vital for controlling the small insect and fly populations, are being killed in places like Slovenia. They fly at incredible speeds and maneuver into the invisible wind turbine blades. Bats that fly at night and depend on their sonar tracking system for navigation, and are confused and disorientated by turbines. Bees and butterflies are often killed as well.
Student A: Wind power is renewable energy, because the wind is always going to be here. It’s endless and will stay around for future generations. It’s not like coal or oil. Coal and oil are limited resources.
Student B: I agree with you. Wind power is also one of the cleanest sources of energy. Wind energy doesn’t produce any emissions or other waste.
Student A: I don’t agree with you entirely. We have to build roads to the wind turbines, and so the countryside changes.
Student B: Yes, that’s true. But if we use more wind power we won’t contribute to global warming, adding to the greenhouse effect.
Student A: I remembered one more thing. Wind power is free and the only cost is the equipment and the installation. Therefore electricity bills are reduced.
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