In ancient Greece, the god of wind Aeolus is depicted in Greek mythology and more particularly in The Odyssey, as giving an ox-skin bag containing the found winds to help Ulysses reach his home Ithaca. Ulysses’ men curious to see what their lord was carrying in the sack and thinking it might be gold opened the sack right before reaching the island of Ithaca. Once the winds were unleashed, they took Ulysses and his boat back to the island of Aeolia, the island of Aeolus.
But depictions of the deities of wind are not unique to ancient Greece: they can be found in the Roman, Norse and Celtic mythologies as well as many other cultures. Even today, wind energy can still surprise us.
10 surprising facts about wind energy that will change the way you look at it
- Wind energy has provided for job growth and unexpected sources of income
In some countries, such as Denmark and Portugal, wind power contributes around 20% of the total electricity production. But wind energy is not just good for the environment and generating green jobs, it can also help poorer families supplement their income: wind projects deliver $222 million in annual land lease payments to farmers and local landowners, in particular for low-income counties .
- Wind turbines can be taller than the Statue of Liberty!
In fact, the largest wind turbine in the world is located in United States in Hawaii and not only is it 20 stories tall but its blades are the length of a football field. The tips of large wind turbines can reach heights up to 200 meters  when spinning and can reach speeds at the tip of over 320 kph .
- Harnessing wind energy is an old trick
For example, ancient mariners sailed to distant lands by making use of winds. Farmers used wind power to pump water and for grinding grains.
Needless to say, today’s wind turbines are much more complicated machines than the traditional prairie windmill: a wind turbine has as many as 8,000 different components .
- Wind turbine’s blades are similar to the propeller blades on an airplane
The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. The force of the lift is much stronger than the wind’s force against the front side of the blade .
- Just like solar panels, wind turbines have become more efficient
- Wind energy saves water
- Air-born wind turbines will soon be available
- Wind turbines make little noise
In fact even when the wind and the noise intensify, which also increases the environmental noise, this noise corresponds roughly to the noise which can be heard from a fridge at a 50-metre distance .
- Companies are investing directly in wind energy
- The first commercial offshore wind farm was in the Baltic Sea