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Wind power

Electrical power generation from wind / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wind power is the use of wind energy to generate useful work. Historically, wind power was used by sails, windmills and windpumps, but today it is mostly used to generate electricity. This article deals only with wind power for electricity generation. Today, wind power is generated almost completely with wind turbines, generally grouped into wind farms and connected to the electrical grid.

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China
Electricity production by source

In 2022, wind supplied over 2000 TWh of electricity, which was over 7% of world electricity[1]:58 and about 2% of world energy.[2][3] With about 100 GW added during 2021, mostly in China and the United States, global installed wind power capacity exceeded 800 GW.[4][3][5] To help meet the Paris Agreement goals to limit climate change, analysts say it should expand much faster - by over 1% of electricity generation per year.[6]

Wind power is considered a sustainable, renewable energy source, and has a much smaller impact on the environment compared to burning fossil fuels. Wind power is variable, so it needs energy storage or other dispatchable generation energy sources to attain a reliable supply of electricity. Land-based (onshore) wind farms have a greater visual impact on the landscape than most other power stations per energy produced.[7][8] Wind farms sited offshore have less visual impact and have higher capacity factors, although they are generally more expensive.[4] Offshore wind power currently has a share of about 10% of new installations.[9]

Wind power is one of the lowest-cost electricity sources per unit of energy produced. In many locations, new onshore wind farms are cheaper than new coal or gas plants.[10]

Regions in the higher northern and southern latitudes have the highest potential for wind power.[11] In most regions, wind power generation is higher in nighttime, and in winter when solar power output is low. For this reason, combinations of wind and solar power are suitable in many countries.[12]

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