A growing number of cities around the world are working hard to become more environmentally friendly as awareness of the human impact on climate change continues to increase. Some of the world’s cities are even pushing to become the most eco-friendly in the world, embracing innovative technologies and schemes to enhance their environmental credentials. One of the main areas of change is the move towards using renewable energy sources such as wind power. But could wind farms actually be used to power entire cities?
What is a wind farm?
A wind farm is essentially a number of wind turbines strategically placed in a location where there is known to be a large amount of wind. As the wind causes those turbines to spin, they generate electricity without any toxic by-products.
A wind farm can be a small operation with only a handful of wind turbines, or they can be vast areas that span hundreds of square miles. The UK’s Walney Wind Farm, for example, is the largest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world – covering an area equivalent to 20,000 football pitches
Powering the world’s cities
Research suggests that wind farms could potentially produce as much as forty times the amount of electricity the entire planet needs to keep running. Despite this impressive statistic, wind power currently only produces around 4% of the total energy we consume. As the costs to produce wind farms continue to decrease, it’s likely there will be a significant rise in the number of them being built. Offshore wind farms, in particular, are likely to increase in number as they don’t take up any valuable space on land.
RS Components have created a clever infographic to show how many offshore wind turbines it would take to power many of the world’s major cities, and you may be surprised when you see some of the results. It is predicted that a third of all electricity around the globe will come from solar and wind farms by 2040, so those offshore wind farms are far more than merely a fantasy of the eco-warrior.
A climate emergency
There have been significant revelations in 2018 and 2019 that have shown us how critical it is that we make significant changes to our lifestyles as soon as possible. Many political parties have declared a climate change crisis, and despite the unhelpful arguments of climate change sceptics, the main consensus is one of embracing the need for change. Wind turbines powering cities is just one of the visions of the future, and stands alongside ideas like zero-waste cities and plastic-free supermarkets. It is our responsibility to protect the environment of our only planet, and it seems people are finally sitting up and taking notice.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com