Wind energy is developed by having the speed and power of wind turn a turbine, which then produces energy from that movement. This means it becomes necessary to understand how wind originates to determine where wind energy is able to originate.
Wind is essentially just air that is in motion. It’s an energy resource that begins with the sun. Because one side of the planet sees sunlight while the other does not, the planet is heated on an uneven basis. This creates spots of warmth and cold. Warm air naturally rises, while cool air naturally settles.
The differences in movement then create the wind that can be harvested by turbines to generate energy.
Why Do Some Areas Receive More Wind Than Others?
In the equatorial region of our planet, temperatures generally stay hot. This heat rises and spreads out from the equator, displacing cool air in the process. The opposite occurs in colder climates, as the cool air will displace the warm air over time when the sun shines. This creates the foundation of air movement.
Except the wind cannot go through solid objects. You can’t put your ear to the side of a mountain and feel the wind pass through the ground, right? So the wind has to move around the landscape. When the wind finds a pocket of space where it can move, like through a mountain pass, then the volume of air moving through increases wind speed.
More wind volume and speed equal more energy that can be generated.
This is why many wind farms are placed in locations that can take advantage of these “pockets” of movement. From canyons to the top of a hill to even being placed at the top of some buildings, these turbines move when wind patterns move them.
Air Pressure Also Creates Wind
If you live in a coastal community, then you’re likely familiar with the movement of high and low pressure systems. These zones are created based on air movement from the temperature changes which happen due to uneven heating. They appear as spirals because of the curvature of the planet. When they move, they bring wind along for the ride.
That’s why wind farms along the coast can also be a tremendous source of energy.
Wind energy ultimately comes from movement. By using a turbine to collect this energy, we have a renewable source of power that can be used for homes and businesses around the world.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.