Factors of Wind Energy

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Wind is created by temperature gradients , created by differences in heat received on the surface of the earth as a result of incoming radiation from the Sun. These gradients depend on the angle of the incident sunlight, as well as the characteristics of the terrain and are vital for the formation of specific regional climates. Land and water masses have different heat capacities which lead to an uneven heating of the planet’s surface. As there are different temperatures in different regions due to the aforementioned reasons, bulk motion of air molecules is created as the density of air changes with temperature, leading to concentration gradients and pressure gradients. These pressure gradients are what is we
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Figure 2: A typical Weibul distribution for wind speeds
Source : http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/the-annual-variability-of-wind-speed.html Intermittency

The greatest problem for wind power production integration into the electrical grid is intermittency. The wind is variable on different timescales, as turbulent gusts change the hourly production, and climate/temperature fluctuate the daily and sometimes seasonal power contained by the wind. This instability needs regulation and different operational reserves, in order to maintain grid stability and avoid electricity spillage/shortage.

Energy Storage

Intermittent energy resources can be used in tandem with energy storage systems for better grid stability. The most common technique for energy storage is pumped-hydro, which can be used together with wind to store excessive energy and provide it when required. Such cooperative systems increase the overall efficiency and financial viability of such ventures, as the usage of stored energy shifts to displace more expensive means of power production, like fossil fuels. The low maintenance costs of pumped hydro systems and money saving on peak electricity production make them financially appealing even though their starting capital investment is considerable.

Environmental Effects

Wind has minimal environmental effect as it produces no greenhouse gases. The only production of such gases occurs in the manufacturing stage
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