Windmills have been a feature of rural landscapes ever since the 11th century. These magnificent structures weren’t created for aesthetic purposes, but as a way to harness energy during times where turning on a gas or electric powered machine just wasn’t possible. The following information gives a better insight into the history and purpose of harnessing this invisible, renewable resource.

A Brief History Of Wind Power

The most basic use of wind power started in ancient times with the invention of sails in order to move ships. Not only has this practice lasted for centuries, but it is still used today. After man realized that this free form of energy could be used in sails, windmills were created to power machinery which normally would have required large amounts of manpower and time. People could now grind grains or pump large amounts of water with little or no effort on their part, which later lead to the discovery of hydro-electricity and electricity generated by wind power.

Modern Day Wind Power

Less than 15 years ago, there was only enough electricity generated through wind turbines to power New York City twice over. Now there is enough wind power being harnessed worldwide to supply England six times over. Wind Turbines are used to generate this energy, looking more like skinny pinwheels as opposed to the traditional windmill of the past.

The capturing of wind power has comparatively few harmful effects on the environment, but the fact that the wind turbines must be constructed somewhere means that land must be built upon and machinery that pollutes the air must be used to prepare the land and build the turbines. Many countries in the world, such as India, produce and use wind power as one of their main energy sources. As of today, China is the world’s largest producer of wind generated electricity.

Winds Of Change

President Obama has stated that he would like to use wind power to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes in the near future, while China claims that their whole country will be using wind power within the next five years. Wind power and other natural energy sources may not be the ‘norm’ right now, but they are better for the environment and better for the bank balance. Just like solar energy and hydro-electric power, we may be seeing more windmills popping up outside private homes in the near future.

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