Wind Power

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  • Solar-Derived Energy Resources - Wind Power
    • Different amounts of solar heating produces differences in temperature and air pressure. Air movements to equalise these pressure differences create winds.
    • Most wind power is now used to generate electricity
    • Locational Factors
      • The windiest areas are usually uplands, open plains, coasts or shallow seas. The higher latitudes are generally windiest with tropical areas having less reliable strong winds.
      • Wind farms require a large area of open land. The land between turbines can still be used for agriculture.
      • Fluctuations in wind speed cause variations in power output and make wind power unreliable, so it cannot be used to satisfy total energy demand unless surplus electricity can be stored for later use.
    • Environmental Impacts
      • Aesthetic pollution and visual intrusion on the landscape.
      • Air turbulence around rotating blades produces noise which can annoy residents living nearby.
      • The flicker caused by sunlight reflected off the blades can also be a local problem.
      • The electromagnetic field around the generator can cause interference to nearby radio or radar equipment
      • The rotating blades can hit birds and kill them
      • The sudden change in air pressure caused by the rotating blades can kill bats
      • These problems can be minimised by the careful location of wind farms

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