In order to get into the discussion of Florida wind power, the interested should understand the background and science of wind technology. We will provide some background and then attempt to explain why Florida wind power is falling behind many other states. Currently, Florida ranks 47th among U.S. states in the production of commercial electric energy.
Wind Power At Florida
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, i.e. electricity, by the use of wind generators. At the close of 2008, global nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 120.8 gigawatts.
Throughout history, the wind has been used directly to propel sailboats or converted into mechanical energy for pumping water or grinding grain, but the principal application of wind power today is the generation of electrical energy. Enormous wind turbine farms are normally attached to the local electric power transmission network, with smaller wind generators being used to provide electric power to isolated places. Power companies increasingly purchase excess electricity generated by the lower capacity home size turbines.
Generated wind energy as a power source is a favorite of many environmentalists as an alternative to fossil fuels, as it is everywhere, renewable, globally available, clean, and has lower amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, even though the building of wind generating collectives is not universally applauded due to their visual impact and possible effects on the Eco-system. The intermittency of wind seldom creates challenges when using wind turbines to provide a low proportion of total usage. When the wind is considered for a larger proportion of usage, additional costs for compensation of intermittency are believed to be modest.
Lately, the United States has added more wind-generated capacity to its transmission network than any other country; American wind energy production increased by 45% to 16.8 gigawatts in 2007 and overtaking Germany’s nameplate capacity in 2008. California has been one of the innovators of the new age wind power industry, and has been the U.S. leader in installed capacity for quite some time; however, by the end of 2006, Texas became the leading wind power state and today continues to build its lead. By the end of 2008, Texas had 7,116 MW capacity installed, which would have placed it sixth worldwide if Texas were a separate country.
Sadly, Florida has not kept up with these impressive gains. The best resources in the industry agree that Florida wind power is not commercially feasible due to the state’s unstable wind conditions. Even the one site that is being built is being called a political move and most experts have determined that the best conditions in Florida would not be considered as good locations in any state that has wind energy production fields. On the positive side, this does not mean that homeowners cannot incorporate wind power into a system to reduce dependence on commercially generated electricity.
Note: The total amount of economically extractable energy available from the wind is considerably more than present human energy use from all sources. An estimated 72 terawatts of wind energy on the Earth potentially can be commercially viable, compared to about 15 terawatts normal world energy consumed from all sources in 2005. These numbers are in spite of the fact that not all the energy of the wind flowing past a given point can be recovered.