Since very early ages people have been involved in harnessing the energy of the wind. Evidence can be found along the Nile River as early as in 5000 B.C. However, 200 B.C. the use of simple windmills started in China for the purpose of pumping water. Along with it, in Persia and the Middle East also it found use for grinding grains. However, the ways of using this energy spread all over the world in 11th century. By this time people in Middle East were windmills for food production. It was then refined by the Dutch as they took up new technologies by the end of the 19th century.
Early in the twentieth century, it was commonly for pumping water and for generating electricity. During industrialization, the use of the windmills gradually declined. It was replaced by steam engine in Europe. On the other hand, the industrialization also brought another development of larger windmills generating electricity. The wind energy got its modern form when wind turbines appeared in Denmark in 1890. In 1940s the largest of its type known as Grandpa’s Knob came into operation in Vermont hilltop.
However the popularity for using this energy always fluctuated with the rise and fall of prices of fossil fuels. When the prices fall after World War II, the use of wind turbines fell. On the other hand, when the prices of fossil fuel got a rise once again in 1970s, the wind turbines again gained popularity. Today the use of power plants using this energy is growing constantly. It is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. It can be used in industry, business and homes with clean and renewable electricity for many years in future. Today, global warming being a very threatening concern for the world, the natural and renewable source of energy is in growing demand. Because of this reason only solar electricity is also gaining popularity with time throughout the world.
The modern day turbines are sleek and slender. Moreover, they are up to the task of producing serious amounts of electricity. The popular size of it in USA today is 30-story building with a capacity of producing 6 million kilowatt electricity every year for running in around 600 American households. Most of the modern day turbines are powered by solar panels. However, by the end of 2007, there were nearly 94,000 MW of wind installed around the world. It was a significant rise from the 59,000 MW installed in 2005. USA contributed hugely in it as the pace of growth as the capacity grew by 45%.
Although Germany still continues having the highest total wind capacity of any country with 22.3 GW. However, the recent boom in renewable energy investment increased the generation of wind energy and is being aided through progressive policies and widespread public support. This energy carries many community benefits. As the renewable sources creates many local jobs both in the areas of construction and maintenance of the plants. Moreover, it can generate energy locally and distribute directly to the local area network.