Wind Power

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by MiriamRovin
Last updated 5 years ago

Energy & Environment

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Wind Power


Miriam Rovin

What is wind power?

Unfortunatly, there are also many cons to wind power. The most prominate one is that they are very costly. The average American home would need a 5-kilowatt generating capacity to cover its power usage. A turbine of that size would be about $30,000 but, extremely large turbines may cost up to $350,000 (100-kw.) Also, the payback period could range anywhere between 6-30 years (for a small one!)

There are many pros to wind power. For one, wind turbines do not cause any pollution. This keeps the enviornment safe for future generations. Wind power is also renewable meaning we will never run out of it. The space taken up by wind turbines is very small compared to that of nuclear power plants and fossil fuel power plants, as well.

Texas, California, Minnisota, Illinois and Iowa use the most wind power. I found this odd because Nebraska is the windiest state. Nebraska has plenty of wind that isn't being harnessed which is why I would put a turbine in Lincoln, Nebraska. Along with windspeed, it is also important to consider the landscape of the location. Because Nebraska is primarily made of grasslands, there wouldn't be many barriers to stop the wind.

Wind power has been used since 3500 BC to power sailboats in Egypt. Today, it is seventh most used energy source in the US. Wind power is the process of kinetic energy (from the wind turbine) transforming to electrical energy. It is a renewable energy source because the world will never run out wind due to the Earth's uneven heating.

Nebraska Wind Speed VersesUS Average

The main issues with wind power in terms of the enviornment is the noise it produces, how it looks and how it affects birds. The rotor does make noise when it turns but, it is mainly muffled by the wind itself. Also, turbines tend to be in wide open spaces so they can be an "eyesore" to people passing by. In many wide open spaces where turbines would be, there aren't many people to hear the rotor's noise or see the turbine in their view so it really isn't a huge issue. On the other hand, bird collisions are a big issue. Because birds fly at the same altitude as many turbines, they will often fly into the blades unintentially. Luckily, these collisions can be avioded with careful planning as to where the turbine should go. On the bright side, turbines cause cause no pollution which is good for air and enviornment.

Enviornmental Impacts

Egyptian Sailboat

Price of Power

Wind Power

What About Location?

In conclusion, I believe Lincoln Nebraska would benefit from a wind turbine. Although they are expensive, its benefits certainly outway the costs. For one, Lincoln has plenty of wind yet there are not many turbines. The average wind speed in Nebraska is far above the US's (see chart.) Also, the price of each kWh has significantly decresed since 1990 so we can assume the price will lower further. For these reasons, I believe we should put a wind turbine in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Final Analysis


Wind power is produced by turbines (large spinning blades) spinning from the lift in the wind. Lift is the same force that makes planes fly. The turbines are connected to a hub which turns when the blades rotate. The hub and turbines together are known as the rotor. The turning of the rotor turns a drive shaft. The drive shaft is connected to a generator which is in the top of the housing, also known as the nacelle. The generator turning is what makes the electricity. That electricty is then taken to the grid to power things.

How Does it Work?

These are the two main types of wind turbine


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