Wind Energy Quiz

Staff

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Feel that wind? Fwooooshhhh!!! Fwwwooooshhh!! Quick, somebody put up a wind turbine. Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Which produces more carbon emissions: Wind power or natural gas?

Natural gas. Burning any fossil fuel – natural gas, coal, diesel, whatever – releases excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Hell-o, climate change. Wind turbines don't release any carbon dioxide. They just turn while the wind blows on them.

Which of these states would be the best place to put a wind turbine?

Nebraska – the Great Plains states get lots of wind, and there are already many wind farms out there on the prairie.

Which of these is a problem with using wind as a power source?

Wind doesn't blow all the time. So it would be tough to rely on 100% wind power. Instead, wind has to be supplemented with other sources of energy.

True or False: Thousands of birds die each year when they run into wind turbines.

True. Most are killed by turbines with old designs. Newer turbines move slower and are placed more carefully. The Altamont Pass wind farm in Northern California kills a lot of birds; its turbines have an old design and are right in the middle of a migratory route.

What were those iconic Dutch windmills for? You know, the wood ones with the tulips?

Ok, you could make an argument for "attracting tourists." But the answer is pumping water. Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, and for centuries the Dutch have reclaimed land by pumping water out of the low-lying areas. Of course, they also had windmills for grinding grain and other uses.

According to the World Wind Energy Association, what percentage of the world's electricity comes from wind?

"More than one percent" of the world's electricity comes from wind turbines. We'll call that between one and two.

How does a wind turbine make electricity?

The spinning blades turn a shaft that connects to a generator. Lots of electricity comes from spinning things – water or steam spinning a turbine, for example, that turns a shaft that goes to a generator.

What literary character fought a windmill, thinking it was a giant?

Don Quixote. The windmill won. That guy did not have a 100 percent super firm grip on reality.

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