As a Meteorologist, we talk about wind all the time. Well, let’s discuss wind energy. Wind Turbines are placed strategically across the nation and even offshore. So how does wind energy get created? The weather of course!

Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy adds, “It all starts with the sun actually. That warms the earth and creates discrepancies, or zones of different temperature which makes the airflow move. So, we take advantage of that with a wind turbine, especially the blades. The standard configuration of a wind turbine is a 3-bladed machine. And the blades are air-foiled, just like an airplane. So, when the air flows over them, it creates lift, which moves the blade in a certain direction, and then the blade turns the shaft which turns the generator which makes electricity.”

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There are certain wind speed thresholds, in which wind turbines can operate.
Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, “You probably need something on the order of 15 mph to average for the year to make it profitable.”

Wind Farms and turbines can be found across the country. You may have seen them here in Michigan as well.
Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, “Generally, the best wind resources are in the Mid-West. The number 1 state for wind is Texas and then followed closely by Iowa”, Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.

This is a science, wind converting into wind energy.

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“A couple of years ago wind became the number 1 source of renewable energy, just passing hydropower. Right now, about 9% of the electricity market, is covered by wind energy.”, Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wind power is making strides to create more renewable energy within the next several years.

“And it’s anticipated to grow even more with the Biden Administration’s goals of converting the electricity grid to renewable energy by 2035. We’re thinking potentially on the order of 500 to maybe 1000 gigawatts of wind over the next 20 years, compared to 100 gigawatts deployed across the country now.”, Jim Ahlgrimm, Acting Director for the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Now that’s the Science of Weather. I’m Meteorologist Kylee Miller.