5 things we HEART about wind power (apart from the planet-saving stuff)

1. You can see it from space

Just look at this awesome photo of the world’s largest wind farm, the London Array, taken by the Nasa Earth Observatory. All those proud little spinny dots feeding us energy. That was taken back in 2014. According to the Hull Daily Mail, you can now see Siemens shiney new wind turbine blade factory via satellite images used by Google too.

2. It was invented here in the UK

The first windmill used to produce of electricity was built in July 1887 by a Professor James Blyth of Strathclyde University. It was ten meters tall and had cloth sails rather than the carbon-fibre blades we have today. Blyth rigged up his holiday home in Marykirk, Aberdeenshire in 1887 - the first house to run on wind power.

Blyth tried to sell the surplus electricity to local villagers, but sadly they thought it was the 'work of the devil' (oh) but he had success building another, improved version, and installing it at the local Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary of Montrose where it ran successfully for 30 years.

3. It supports local communities

Photo: Tiree Development Trust

Photo: Tiree Development Trust

Scottish onshore wind projects contribute £8.8m per year into community benefit schemes. And when the turbines are owned by the communities themselves, the benefits are even bigger. Just look at these little beavers hugging their local wind turbine. They’re from Tiree, and their wind turbine - which they named Tilley - has helped the islanders fund everything from upgrading broadband to running a village shop, taking elderly people to medical appointments to restoring the local museum. Plus the sheep and cows graze under it. 

4. It’s cheap as chips

Working out the true cost of energy can be a slippery thing. We’re big fans of the way Bloomberg New Energy Finance do it - they take into account all the hidden costs, including climate change. And they say onshore wind is the cheapest electricity generation technology out there. That’s not new either. They’ve been saying this for over a year.

5. It’s makes a great canvas for art

Photo: Windlicht

Photo: Windlicht

Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde wanted to show off the beauty of wind turbines, and so connected a row of them in the windy western province of Zeeland with long, glittering, neon green laser. It look two years of trial and error to attach the equipment, but the results were mesmerising.

At Australia's first community wind farm, at Leonards Hill not far from Melbourne, they decided to brighten up the trunk of the turbine with a painting. The artist thinks he’s probably the first person to ever paint a mural on a wind turbine. It can’t have been easy, but it looks amazing.

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Photo: Nasa Earth Observatory, Creative Commons 2.0