I often get questions about wind power. Because it takes so much wind to produce power, Alabama has few places where wind turbines are economical. However, a wind turbine might be an important component of an alternate energy system. Our renewable energy systems rely heavily on solar. But the wind is often strong when the solar is not. Besides, some people just want one…
The Department of Energy’s Wind Program…
The Department of Energy’s Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) collects and publishes wind energy stats and data. Many Alabamians thing the wind blows enough where they live to generate a lot of power. Believe this map! Look at the video above showing wind energy harvest from the shore of a large Alabama lake. Even if these turbines were mounted at 100ft (imagine the cost), it would make little difference.
Alabama has very few places where harvesting wind energy is feasible. Yes, we have installed a few for people that want one. Wanting a wind turbine is about the best reason for having one. I think most Alabamians that have one have lost their appetite for them.
Advancements in turbine technology have lowered the wind speed necessary to produce power to around 4.5 meters per second. Even at that number, Alabama does not make the mark. So, wind will likely not provide a lot of your power. But it might just be a part of your overall package to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels.
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