Wind Power Depends On Petroleum

How can that be.

What keeps a wind turbine turning?

Yes, it’s a trick question.

You need a good breeze, of course – but there’s something else that’s essential, something that you might not associate with wind power. And that something, would be oil or natural gas. Yep. Wind power depends on the hydrocarbon.

That’s because inside those turbines are gears, axles, a generator – all sorts of moving, turning parts – and moving parts need lubrication – and lubrication means oil. Which shouldn’t be surprising. Petroleum products are in all sorts of other products, including other sources of energy.

And those moving parts? The windmill blades have been getting longer and longer, which is good for the work of catching the wind – but the only way to make blades like that, is through carbon-reinforced resins made from petrochemicals.

Wind power in the U.S. produces about 5.5% percent of our electricity these days, so long as you’ve also got the oil to keep those turbines lubricated and running (and to make those wind-catching blades).

And Now For Something Completely Different

If you look at the picture above and notice the tower on the left you will notice something completely different.

This generator has less moving parts (less lubrication). It is shorter blades (less oil required to make them) and only takes a 3 to 5 mile per hour wind to produce more electricity then it consumes.

Easier to transport using fewer trucks(less gas) and is much less of an eyesore so can be put in residential areas and is environmentally friendly.