As the negative effects of climate change become more evident, many American industries are turning to green energy design to help combat pollution and curb global warming. One of the most promising methods of green energy design is that of wind energy. As a power source, it offers a number of unique advantages, and it’s growing in popularity throughout the engineering industry.
Wind Energy: An Engineering Team Effort
In addition to providing a cleaner source of energy as compared to traditional power sources such as coal-fueled plants, wind energy is also expected to create numerous jobs within the engineering sector. These engineering jobs will specifically relate to building wind farms, which are used for harnessing and converting wind into energy on a large scale. Wind farms require the work of several types of engineering professionals.
For instance, electronics engineers are responsible for operating and maintaining the electrical components used to power wind farm turbines, and electrical engineers are usually tasked with designing and testing the electrical wind turbine components used for generating electricity, which include transmission systems, motors, and other important pieces of machinery. Materials engineers are also critical as well, as they are often responsible for the research and creation of materials used in building wind turbines. These materials must be tested to make sure they meet certain technical standards before being used.
Additionally, environmental engineers are tasked with analyzing and working to minimize the environmental footprint of wind farms, and industrial engineers are responsible for overseeing the planning and quality assurance of the machinery used for constructing wind turbines. Civil engineers are tasked with designing structures used for supporting wind turbines, such as power distribution lines and centers. Civil engineers must also find a way to integrate wind farms into the surrounding area, including roads and other types of infrastructure, and health and safety engineers are responsible for workplace safety and preventing possible accidents or other types of hazards.
Each of these engineers must collaborate with one another to successfully create and operate a wind farm. Each engineer is a very important part of the overall process. By expanding on wind energy as a reliable source of electrical power, a wide array of jobs will be created in numerous sectors of engineering. Relying more on wind energy as we move into the future will also cut down on dangerous carbon emissions, reduce our use of water and other natural resources, and promote better air quality, among other environmental initiatives and benefits.
The Future of Wind Energy
The United States federal government has recognized wind energy as a viable and sustainable energy source. The U.S. Department of Energy has created an entire program dedicated to the research and development of future wind energy projects. This program consists of numerous professionals from different backgrounds, many of whom are talented engineers. The U.S. Department of Energy has set its goals for wind energy as the following objectives:
1. Keep documented records of how wind power currently operates within the United States and make note of any technological advancements and positive results for the general public.
2. Continue researching how domestic electrical power generation efforts can benefit from wind energy for future generations. Keep records on the environmental benefits found by using wind energy.
3. Conduct an analysis of the benefits, costs, employment data, and other aspects of the wind energy industry as it expands in the United States.
4. Recognize and develop methods of how wind energy can be supported for future generations.
The U.S. Department of Energy has released what is known as the “Wind Vision Report,” which explores the current state and future potential of wind energy based on numerous facts concerning the environment, finances, and other details involved with the wind energy industry.
The Growth of Wind Farms
Many companies are finding success by developing wind farms as a renewable source of energy. General Electric, for example, is taking numerous steps to improve their wind turbine supply, which are used for powering wind farms throughout the world. Their latest development is “The Digital Wind Farm,” which uses Internet technology to create a digital infrastructure that enables wind farm operators to remotely monitor their wind turbine operations.
NextEra Energy Resources, which works with both wind and solar energy, has achieved a great deal in wind farm operations. Their wind farms have shown outstanding economic success rates, higher employment, and strong environmental preservation.
Wind farms are quickly becoming a go-to source of power in the U.S. In fact, this past January, the Long Island Power Authority recently approved the creation of the nation’s largest wind farm off of Long Island. This new wind farm project is predicted to create numerous high-paying jobs while working to protect the environment, and it serves as a symbol of the U.S.’s commitment to sustainable energy. In addition to Long Island, the federal government, in conjunction with private ventures, is working to build a number of new wind farms throughout the United States. With more electrical power being harnessed from wind farms, it is important that electrical engineers be educated on the benefits of wind energy and how it can supply electrical power for future generations throughout the world.
Recommended Readings:Why America’s Future Relies On Renewable Energy Systems
Five Essential Renewable Energy Systems
Evolution of Renewable Energy