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"I could feel it coming in the air tonight." No, it's not Phil Collins singing of the portent of something. Neither is it the Cadbury gorilla banging at his drums. It's the wind. And if you're standing on a shoreline where the waves are particularly violent, you will know the strength of its force.
It is this strength that makes the wind a great source of energy. Remember that kinetic energy is the energy of something that is on the move. With the force with which a gust of wind moves, there is no denying that there's a lot of power there.
Wind energy is harnessed using a turbine that is connected to a medium voltage power collection system. The power is then transmitted to a substation. From there, the voltage is increased, using a transformer, preparing it for transmission to a high voltage transmission system.
Harnessing wind energy takes a good number of units of a turbine and its accompanying system spread across a wide area. Land that is between each turbine unit may be used for other purposes.
Despite the fact that wind power is free to generate and will not deplete the earth's resources, there are some downsides to using wind energy:
- Only 59% of its theoretical power will actually be generated.
- Building wind farms is not cheap.
- Before an area can be selected as a wind farm some conditions have to be satisfied.
Because of the size and the construction of a wind turbine, only governments can afford, and have reason to build wind farms. A wind farm is not something that a regular consumer can build for himself, just yet. At the moment, the country where wind power implementation is at its most impressive is Denmark, with 19% of its power supply provided by wind energy.
Still, when a country wants to go 100% green, different sources of power should be tapped. From solar energy to wind power to biomass, these should be implemented in concert in order to ease the nation's dependency on oil. Think the Philippines can do it? Since Bongbong Marcos started wind energy in Ilocos, I believe that yes, we can.