is the conversion of windenergy into a useful form of energy, such as usingwind
turbinesto make electricity,wind millsfor mechanical power,wind pumpsfor pumping water or
drainage, or sails to propel ships.At the end of 2009, worldwidenameplate capacityof wind-powered generators was 159.2gigawatts(GW).
. Energy production was 340 TWh, which is about 2% of worldwideelectricity usage;
and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the past three years. Severalcountries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration (with largegovernmental subsidies), such as 19% of stationary electricity production inDenmark , 13% inSpain
andPortugal, and 7% inGermanyand theRepublic of Irelandin 2008. As of May 2009,
eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.
Large-scalewind farmsare connected to theelectric power transmissionnetwork; smaller
facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricityproduced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy as a power source isattractive as an alternative tofossil fuels, because it is plentiful,renewable, widely distributed,
clean, and produces nogreenhouse gas emissions. However, the construction of wind farms isnot universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment.Wind power isnon-dispatchable, meaning that for economic operation, all of the available outputmust be taken when it is available. Other resources, such ashydropower , and standardload
managementtechniques must be used to match supply with demand. Theintermittencyof wind
seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand.
2 Wind energy
2.1 Distribution of wind speed
3 Electricity generation
3.1 Grid management
3.4 Intermittency and penetration limits