The principle of Wind energy is pretty simple and very similar to hydroelectricity at a high level. OK, water and wind obviously have some differences but they also have some similarities in this comparison. Both technologies make use of kinetic energy to generate electricity. In the case of Wind power it is the kinetic energy of moving air, and for Hydro it is the kinetic energy in moving water that provides the force necessary to generate electricity. Wind energy is a pollution-free and infinitely sustainable form of energy (providing you always have wind). Wind energy doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions at all, and doesn’t produce any byproducts like radioactive or toxic waste.
There are a number of different names for Wind based energy systems. Most commonly they are referred to as "wind turbine generators", "wind pumps", or "wind turbines".
Wind energy, like many other things, has been in use for a long time. Wind was used to drive sailing ships, and still is today, and by many farmers to drive water pumps and provide electricity. In combination with modern technology advancements the efficiencies of Wind power have increased and it is being used more and more as a source of clean, emissions free, sustainable energy.
As mentioned before Wind energy is basically using the kinetic energy that is present in moving air. The amount of potential energy is dependant on a few factors.
The primary factor is wind speed
The secondary lesser factor is the density of the air (determined by the air temperature, barometric pressure, and altitude)
As wind speed is the primary factor in wind power generation it is very important that a Wind turbine is located in an area with appropriate average winds that are sufficient to drive the size of turbine necessary for the required power output. As you may have noticed, most wind turbines are high above the ground. This is done to take advantage of the fact that wind speeds are typically higher and more consistent higher above the ground. As a result there are even proposals and prototyping ongoing today for wind based power generation systems that take advantage of wind speeds thousands of feet above the ground.
Benefits of Wind Energy
Wind energy is an ideal renewable energy because:
It is a pollution-free, infinitely sustainable form of energy
It doesn’t require fuel
It doesn’t create greenhouse gasses
It doesn’t produce toxic or radioactive waste.