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Energy Pros & Cons

Wind Power

Windmills have been used for pumping water or grinding grain for centuries. The windmill's modern equivalent – a wind turbine – uses wind energy to generate electricity.


Wind speed is variable and unreliable
Wind farms are typically located in high, exposed, rural locations, where they can be seen as eyesores
Often noisy, although modern turbines are quieter than their predecessors
Wildlife habitats can be disrupted and there is a risk of birds getting caught in the blades
Off-shore wind farms go some way to solving these problems, but they are expensive to build and maintain. It is cheaper to put more coal into an existing power station than to build a new wind farm


1 Tower: Wind speed increases with height
2 Turbine blades: Shaped to harness maximum energy – can have a diameter longer than the wingspan of a jumbo jet
3 Gears: Increase rotational speeds
4 Generator: The spinning turbine rotates a series of magnets inside coils of wire, generating an electrical current
© Alternative Use Group plc, 2013