Wind power has been around for millennia to generate energy. For over two millennia, huge wind-powered machines pumped water and ground grain. Wind power is also used for sailing. With technological breakthroughs, humans have managed to harness the wind power using wind turbines. This converts it into usable electricity. A few centuries ago nobody knew what electricity is. Today we can’t live without electric power.
During the 20th century, scientists have developed small wind power plants. They also made huge wind generators. The wind generators produced electricity on a large scale. Small wind plants were suitable only for residences or homes. After more than two hundred years, wind turbines come in various sizes and designs. From tiny plants used to charge batteries up to gigawatt sized off-shore wind farms. They contribute to national electricity needs and are part of the grid.
The first wind turbine ever built for the production of electricity was in Scotland in July 1887. A professor from the University of Glasgow developed it. This first “electric windmill” was in his garden. It charged accumulators that could power the lighting in his cottage. The surplus electricity offered by his windmill went to light the main street. But soon enough, the windmill was destroyed, because people believed it is the work of the devil. At the same time, in the Unites States, a new engineered machine started to work in Cleveland, Ohio. The on this wind turbine measured seventeen meters in diameter. It sat on an eight-teen meters high tower. This is one of the first wind turbines in the United States. After more than a century, a wind turbine with the same dimensions offers up to 10,000 times more energy.
In the 20th century, more and more wind turbines came into being. In 1973, corporate owners turned to a more profitable source of energy – wind power. Now, millions of power plants, wind turbines and hydropower plants cover the globe. After the year 2000, wind turbines increased interest in renewable sources of energy. The commercial wind power industry has grown with about 30%-40% each year. Today, scientists are striving to develop floating wind turbines. They would mean a breakthrough in today’s harsh economic times.