A wind turbine, as most of us know, is a machine that transforms kinetic energy into mechanical energy. The most famous machines using the wind turbine are the windmills and wind pumps, which are often used in farming or agricultural activities and for power production.
In Denmark, modern wind turbines have been developed and used since the 1980s. Denmark resorted to the use of wind energy in order to limit their emission of carbon dioxide produced by coal-fueled power plants. In 2010, about 1/4 of the electric consumption of Denmark is by wind energy. Denmark also houses half of the biggest wind turbines in the world. It is also the home of the two largest wind turbine manufacturers and exporters.
In 2000, Samso, a town/island in Denmark attempted to be a town powered only by wind energy. It established numerous large wind turbines to supply the citizens power needs. The attempt failed to attain a 100% wind energy powered town; however, it became famous for being the largest community with the lowest carbon dioxide emission.
The attempt of Denmark in Samso sparked the drive to create more towns wherein the carbon dioxide emission is low if not, eliminated. Cities in the United States of America like New Hampshire, Los Angeles, and Oregon are gradually using more and more wind turbines to supply their power needs in order to decrease their carbon dioxide emission as well.
But wind turbines are large in size. If installed, they take up a lot of space which may have been ideal (to developers) for a residential suburb or a commercial business. Also, a lot of them must be installed to supply the power needs of the community. So, to achieve a 100% wind powered community, many business opportunity and development will have to be sacrificed.
For this reason, England has been exploring the idea of airborne wind turbines. However, studies show that it does not produce a sufficient amount of energy enough to support a wind-powered society. Some companies are also entertaining the idea of combining solar energy and wind energy. They are planning to put a solar energy saving device or structure at the top of a wind turbine to increase the eco-energy supply. Small and portable wind turbine technologies which are ideal for less energy consumption are also being produced today to save space.
It may hold true for now that a 100% wind-powered community is not possible but with the continuing research and development on wind turbine technology, the potential for such a thing is getting closer.