Wind temperature to a point that humans and

Wind Power in
Different Countries

            Wind
power is continuing to grow in many different countries around the world. Wind
power also helps to keep the environment safe. If alternate sources of energy
are not being used, the planet’s climate will continue to be ruined by excess
carbon dioxide emissions. The increase use of fossil fuels increases the
temperature to a point that humans and the ecosystem cannot handle. There are
also a limited amount of fossil fuels, and that is why humans should look to
use alternate sources of energy that does not harm nature. “Wind power could be
supplying up to 19% of the world’s electricity and avoiding over three billion
tons of carbon dioxide a year by the year 2030. By the year 2050, 25% to 30% of
global power could come from harnessing the wind” (eco). Some examples of
alternate sources of energy are solar energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric
energy. Wind power takes the energy from the wind and uses it as an alternate
source of energy. “It will generate electricity from mechanical power”
(worldatlas). A large wind instrument with propellers converts the wind to
energy, and generators attached to these instruments will conduct electricity. “The
wind passes the turbines while it moves the blades which spin the shaft. These
shafts conduct electromagnetic currents, and that is how the energy is
produced” (worldatlas). There are three top countries/regions that have the
highest wind power capacities. These countries/regions are China, the United
States, and the collective member states of the European Union. These
countries/regions are considered the top three countries with the highest wind
power capacities because they have the resources. According to the article,
“China has around 2380 gigawatts (GW) of exploitable capacity on land and 200
gigawatts on the sea. The 2 countries and union just have lots of capacity to
produce wind energy and the resources to do so” (worldatlas).

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            Wind
power has many advantages and disadvantages to using it. The first advantage to
using wind power is that it is a clean fuel source because it will not pollute
the air, which means that it is good for the ecosystem and humans. The second
advantage of wind power is that wind supply will most always be abundant. “In
the United States, the wind power capacity increased an average of 30% per
year, outpacing the 28% in worldwide capacity” (worldatlas). The third
advantage is that wind is sustainable. This means that wind will always be
present if the sun is shining. “Wind is caused by the heating of the atmosphere
by the sun and how the earth rotates, along with the land structures of earth’s
surface” (worldatlas). The fourth advantage is that using wind power will save
money. It has some of the lowest prices among all the alternate sources of
energy. For example, “it costs between four to six cents per kilowatt-hour”
(worldatlas). The fifth advantage is that the production of wind will create
jobs. Placing wind turbines will mean that there will be a demand for workers,
creating jobs. Wind power can support many industries like manufacturing,
installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050 in the United
States.

            The
first disadvantage of wind power is that “high quality wind sites are usually
located in locations farm from cities, and cities are generally where
electricity is needed” (worldatlas). A large sum of money will need to be spent
for transmission lines to be built to transfer the electricity from the wind
farm to the city. The second disadvantage is that turbine blades can damage
local wildlife. For example, birds that are flying in the air can die because
they can fly into the spinning turbine blades. With the local wildlife being
damaged, the local ecosystem is also being damaged. The third disadvantage is
that lots of noise comes from the wind turbines, and people may not like that.

The fourth disadvantage is that wind turbines “may not be the most profitable
use for land, as there are other options for the land available, such as
agriculture, which can bring in more revenue” (worldatlas). The fifth
disadvantage is that wind power will require a higher investment than
fossil-fueled generators. Although there are many disadvantages, it is better
to look at and use alternate sources of energy for the sake of the environment
and ecosystem.

            Wind
power will continue to grow more and more in the future. “Wind power generating
capacity grew by 12% in 2016, with capacity increasing by 50 gigawatts to reach
469 gigawatts by the end of 2016” (bp). In 2016, China was recorded as the
world’s top country to install windy capacity having a total of 149 gigawatts.

China also had the largest addition of new wind capacity with 19.3 gigawatts.

The United States followed with a wind capacity of 8.2 gigawatts, Germany with
5.0 gigawatts, India with 3.6 gigawatts, and Brazil with 2.0 gigawatts.

According to bp, “wind power generation grew by 15.6% in 2016 to reach 960 TWh,
or 4% of total world electricity generation” (bp). China beat the United States
as being the largest wind power producer in 2015, growing by 29%. China also
contributed more than 40% of global growth in wind power. In Europe, wind power
has become very popular and has become an important contributor to the
electricity generation. “In Denmark, wind power provided more than 40% of power
generation in 2016: and wind power now provides 15% or more of power generated
in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Lithuania” (bp).  

            As
mentioned earlier, China was considered the number one leading country in wind
power generation. In 2014, China had a capacity of 114,763 megawatts in wind
power. China has the world’s biggest wind power sector, which accounts for 31%
of the global total. One reason why China has the world’s biggest wind power
sector is because they have a large land mass and long coastline for wind
power. “The Global Wind Energy Council reckons that the scale and pace of wind
energy development in China cannot be matched by any other country” (Allianz).

Wind power has become one of China’s key growth components of the country’s
economy and has over a dozen turbine manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers
developed the “first permanent magnetic levitation wind turbine, which allows
electricity production even at low wind speeds” (Allianz). Although China is
considered the world’s number one leading country in wind power, there is an
area in China that is one of the world’s largest wind farms that is not being
used. Near the Gobi Desert in Jiuquan, China, stands the Jiuquan Wind Power
Base, which used to generate electricity to power a small country because of
the thousand wind turbines it has. The Jiuquan Wind Power Base is not being
used today because of weak demand. Since the power base is located in the
desert, the turbines could be generating so much electricity due to so much
wind there, but there are not enough buyers and investors who want to invest in
it anymore. Although the workers there would want people to invest, there is
really nothing that they can do about it besides wait. China has over 92, 000
wind turbines built all over the country, “capable of generated 145 gigawatts
of electricity, nearly double the capacity of wind farms in the United States.

One out of every three turbines in the world is now in China, and the
government is adding them at a rate of more than one per hour” (nytimes).

Although they have so many wind turbines built, not all of the wind turbines
are being used, and there is a demand for electricity in certain areas of
China. The reason China invested into alternate sources of energy is because it
is considered the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and they wanted
to change that to help the environment. With China not using much of their wind
power, they have gone back to the coal industry. Favoring the coal industry
does not help with air pollution and carbon emissions. “Even with its unmatched
arsenal of turbines, China still lags the United States. Wind power now accounts
for 3.3% of electricity generation in China, according to the nation’s National
Energy Administration, compared with 4.7% in the United States” (nytimes). Even
though wind power is not being used as much, China still wants to continue in
using and investing in alternate sources of energy (renewable energy) because
they believe it will pay off in the future. The government in China said they
will “continue investing heavily in renewable energy and intends to spend at
least $360 billion through 2020 on developing renewable energy sources”
(nytimes). One reason why investors do not want to invest and wind power has
not been used much is being the wind farms are being built in mountainous
provinces for their strong winds and potential for growth. Although there are
strong winds in the mountains, it is located very far away from big cities, so
that will make the transmission of electricity hard.

            The
United States was considered the second leading country in wind power
generation, while Germany was considered the third leading country in wind
power generation. Germany recorded a total of 39, 265 megawatts of wind power
capacity in 2014. 9% of the country’s total generated electricity in 2013 was accounted
for wind. In April of 2010, Germany opened its first offshore wind park.

“Offshore wind is seen as a major growth area for a government that wants to
see 76, 000 megawatts of wind energy installed by 2020. One challenge is the
lack of grid connections from the North Sea coast to the major markets of southern
Germany” (Allianz). Germany is continuing to rise as one of the leaders in wind
power today. During a weekend in October 2017, Germany produced so much
electricity that they either had to shut down the wind farms or pay the
consumers to take the electricity off the grid. During that day, the average
price for wind power was negative. “Wind output is forecast to peak 39, 190
megawatts at 7am on Sunday, equivalent to the output of about 40 nuclear
reactors and enough to meet more than half of Germany’s total demand. Onshore
wind turbines accounted for almost a third of Germany’s installed power
capacity at the end of June and the nation is poised to increase new
installations by 9% this year, according to industry federation BWE”
(independent). Germany is the leading country in Europe with the most wind
power capacity. Wind power makes up approximately 10% of Europe’s electricity
and will continue to grow in the future.

            According
to a case study that was done in 2005, the world’s leading countries in wind
power generation were Germany, Spain, the United States, Denmark, and India. In
Germany, the installed win power capacity continued to increase every few
years. In 2002, Germany had the largest amount of installed wind capacity in
the world and had 16, 000 wind turbines. Wind power increased in Germany at
that time because there was a program that provided grants. “It provided
renewable energy producers up to 90% of the retail price of electricity for kWh
generated. The Renewable Energy Sources Act 2000 further strengthened market
deployment by providing an incentive production payment for the first five
years of operation followed by a decreasing output payment in subsequent years.

Investment support provides up to 80% of total investment costs at low interest
rates” (oecd). As mentioned, companies would receive incentives if they
invested in the wind power capacity, and that is how Germany became the world’s
number one leading country in wind power in 2002.

            Spain
was considered the second leading country in wind power capacity according to
this 2005 case study. Like Germany, Spain continued to increase their wind
power capacity every few years as well. “Industry sources estimate electricity
production at 14 TWh in 2004, about 4% of Spain’s electricity production”
(oecd). Spain contained three of the world’s largest manufacturers in wind
turbines. The manufacturing of wind turbines created local jobs for the people
in Spain. In some areas, the development of wind farms was great, but in other
areas of Spain, the development of wind farms was not so good because of the
weak grid infrastructure. “At present, Spain’s transmission system
interconnections with neighboring countries are weak so opportunities afforded
through power pools are limited” (oecd).

            The
United States was the third leading country in wind power capacity according to
the 2005 case study.  There were two
different periods of growth for wind power in the United States. There was a
Public Utility Regulatory Act, federal, and state tax incentives for private
power developers to invest in wind power. The second period of growth was
during the late 1990s with federal tax incentives along with policies that were
adopted. During this second period of growth for wind power, many states
invested in wind power and installed wind power development. Some states took
this opportunity to use wind power development for their renewables portfolio
standards, which was one of the policies that were adopted during this second
period of growth. “With significant growth anticipated, the wind energy and
electric power industries, research institutions and the federal government are
working collaboratively to address issues related to the integration of larger
amounts of wind power, including co-joining wind farms with hydropower plants”
(oecd).

            Today,
it is better for countries to invest in using alternate sources of energy
because it can help preserve the environment. For example, in the coal
industry, using so much coal can cause air pollution and carbon emissions,
which is not good for the environment. Some alternate sources of energy are
wind power, solar power, and hydroelectric energy. Wind power has many
advantages and disadvantages in using and investing in it. Some advantages are
that it does not pollute the air; supply will always be available as long as
the sun will continue to shine, and it will save a lot of money because it is
one of the cheapest renewable sources of energy. There are also some
disadvantages to using wind power. For example, wind farms are usually built
far from cities, so it is hard to transmit electricity to big cities. The three
top countries/regions with the highest wind power capacity is China, the United
States, and the collective members of the European Union. China continues to
invest in using alternate sources of energy, but their wind farms are not being
used much anymore because of weak demand. They have built so many wind turbines
across the country because they believe that using renewable energy resources
will pay off for them in the future. The United States continues to grow in
wind power capacity. Collective members of the European Union such as Germany
also continue to rise and grow in wind power capacity.