Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.
Wind farms consist of many individual wind turbines, which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Onshore wind is an inexpensive source of electric power, competitive with or in many places cheaper than coal or gas plants. Onshore wind farms also have an impact on the landscape, as typically they need to be spread over more land than other power stations and need to be built in wild and rural areas, which can lead to “industrialization of the countryside” and habitat loss. Offshore wind is steadier and stronger than on land and offshore farms have less visual impact, but construction and maintenance costs are higher. Small onshore wind farms can feed some energy into the grid or provide electric power to isolated off-grid locations.
A windmill is a structure that converts wind power into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades, specifically to mill grain (gristmills), but the term is also extended to windpumps, wind turbines and other applications. Windmills were used throughout the high medieval and early modern periods; the horizontal or panemone windmill first appeared in Greater Iran during the 9th century, the vertical windmill in northwestern Europe in the 12th century.
Philip David “Phil” Radford (born January 2, 1976) is an American environmental, clean energy and democracy leader who served as the youngest Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. He is a co-founder of the Democracy Initiative, Membership Drive, was founder and Executive Director of Power Shift, and is a board member of Green Corps and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. He has a background in grassroots organizing, corporate social responsibility, climate change, and clean energy. Radford lives in Washington, DC with his wife Eileen.