The Value of Wind Energy
The wind is a clean, free, and one of the readily available renewable energy sources. Each day, around the world, wind turbines are capturing the wind’s power and converting it to electricity. Wind power generation plays an increasingly important role in the way we power our world – in a clean, sustainable manner.
But how is wind energy created? Wind turbines allow us to harness the power of the wind and turn it into energy. When the wind blows, the turbine’s blades spin clockwise, capturing energy. This triggers the main shaft of the wind turbine, connected to a gearbox within the nacelle, to spin. The gearbox sends that wind energy to the generator, converting it to electricity. Electricity then travels to a transformer, where voltage levels are adjusted to match with the grid.
What are the advantages—and challenges—of wind power?
Wind power is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world because of its many advantages. Wind power also presents inherent challenges in some regions of the world, which are being addressed through research and development (R&D) projects around the globe.
- Wind power is cost-effective in many regions. In others, wind power needs to compete with other energy sources, but global R&D efforts are working on solutions to reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of both onshore and offshore wind power.
- Another advantage to wind power is that it is a domestic source of energy, harnessing a limitless local resource. Some viable locations for wind farms, however, are located remote areas that would present challenges in construction and electricity transmission logistics. Technology breakthrough such as two-piece blades and modular construction are helping overcome such challenges.
- An additional benefit of wind power is it is a sustainable source of energy, as wind turbine operation does not directly emit any CO2 or greenhouse gases—helping countries meet their emission reduction targets and combating climate change. Wind energy is plentiful, readily available, and capturing its power does not deplete our valuable natural resources. In fact, an environmental benefit to wind power is its ability to counter the detrimental effects of climate change. The Global Wind Energy Outlook projects that by 2030 wind energy will offset 2.5 billion tons per year of carbon
The value of wind power data
Collecting operational wind energy data from wind turbines and transforming it into valuable information helps increase revenue, reduce costs and lower risk for wind turbine operators. At GE, we provide data-driven wind energy analytics insights, expert recommendations and advanced field services—all integrated into a single software platform that allows us to optimize 15,000+ wind turbines across 12 different OEMs.
Check out our Digital solutions for wind assets, a suite of apps that work with our hardware and services solutions to leverage data and analytics—enhancing the efficiency, cybersecurity, reliability and profitability of your assets.
Clean wind energy storage
Dispatching and delivering clean energy when and where it is needed is important for wind turbine operators. A battery energy storage solution offers new application flexibility and unlocks new business value when combined with wind power generation. With clean wind energy storage, you can help stabilize the electrical grid, control energy flow, optimize asset operation and create new revenue.
The world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine
The offshore wind industry is projected to grow from 17 to 90 GW in the next decade. GE is leveraging that growth for the benefit of the entire wind industry with an investment of more than $400 million to develop the most powerful offshore wind turbine—an investment that will also drive down the LCOE of offshore wind farms, helping make offshore wind energy more competitive for our customers. With 12 MW capacity, a 220-meter rotor, 107-meter blade, leading capacity factor of 63%, and digital capabilities, the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine features offshore wind technology that will help our customers find success in an increasingly competitive environment.