WHAT IS WIND ENERGY?
The wind is a clean, free, and readily available renewable energy source. Each day, around the world, wind turbines are capturing the wind’s power and converting it to electricity. This source of power generation plays an increasingly important role in the way we power our world.
WHERE IS WIND ENERGY?
Wind turbine installations continue to grow throughout the world. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, there was over 360,000 MW of installed capacity across the globe at the close of 2014. Leading countries include: China, the United States and Germany.
WHAT ABOUT OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY?
The potential of offshore wind continues to grow. While Europe is leading in offshore wind development, with 91% of the offshore installed base, the demand is growing as technology improves and costs go down. In the United States, GE technology is being used in the country’s first offshore wind installation in Block Island, RI.
HOW SMART ARE WIND TURBINES?
GE is making improvements in technology every day that make wind energy more reliable and efficient than ever before. Our new wind energy ecosystem, the Digital Wind Farm encompasses improved siting processes and wind forecasting technology, along with enhanced software and sensors, that can help improve a wind turbine, farm and fleet’s production and performance.
WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF WIND ENERGY?
Wind energy is plentiful, readily available, and capturing its power does not deplete our valuable natural resources. In fact, wind turbines can help to counter the detrimental effects of climate change. The Global Wind Energy Outlook projects that by 2030 wind energy will offset 2.5 billion tons per year of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to taking 530 million cars off the road each year or avoiding the use of 4.6 billion barrels of oil globally. This would even offset emissions from 525 coal-fired power plants in one year.
IS WIND A GOOD CITIZEN OF THE GRID?
Many people today think that because wind is “different,” it is bad for the electricity grid. The reality is that many places today operate at very high levels of wind, while still keeping our lights on!
All power sources need backup power support and no single energy technology can satisfy 100% of the electricity demand. The electricity grid copes with large fluctuations in energy demand on a daily basis, overcoming changes as small as turning lights on to as large as AC units ramping up as people return home from work. Wind plays a role in the grid, helping to support ever-changing demand.
Today, wind turbine owners benefit from well-established wind forecasting technology, and advanced wind plant siting. These advances help wind turbines capture more wind, generate more electricity, and serve as a valuable power generation resource.