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6th Grade Science / Lesson 8 - Energy From Wind

Energy From Wind

What will we be learning today?

  • In this lesson, we are going to learn how can we capture energy from the wind.

  • How Can We Capture Energy from Wind?

    It may surprise you to know that wind is a form of solar energy. Wind is caused by uneven heating of Earth's surface by the Sun-air moves from colder areas into warmer areas and produces wind.

    Capturing the energy in wind is not a new idea. For centuries farmers have used windmills to grind grain. In America windmills have been used for over 100 years to pump water on farms, as shown. Also many small wind-driven electric generators were put in service between 1930 and 1960, especially in remote areas. By 1960 electric companies had strung wires to most parts of the United States, and the need for wind-driven generators lessened greatly.

    A windmill on a farm

    However, the growing demand for energy in America has recently led to a renewed interest in wind energy. Manufacturers have developed large wind turbines that can convert wind into electricity.

    This wind turbine is 50 meters tall. In a 28-mile-per-hour wind, it produces about one-thousandth the electricity of a medium-sized fossil-fuel electric power plant.

    California has most of the wind turbines in the U.S. About 1 percent of this state's electricity comes from wind turbines, many of them on wind farms. While wind power is clean and will never be used up, some people object to the noise and appearance of the large turbines.

    Thousands of wind turbines can be assembled to make wind farms like this one in California