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  • 1. Multilateral Comenius Project Germany – Spain – France - Italy Part 1: History of wind power 1. Since when have wind energy constructions been built? / Since when do the humans use the power of the wind? Wind has been used to power windmills 3000 year ago in ancient Egypt. It has also been used to power sailing boats for a long time. (Johanna) 2. When was the first wind turbine in your country built? The first windmills were built in Germany in the 11th century. (Karoline) 3. What have windmills been used for in the past? Before wind has been used to produce power and electricity for our daily life wind mills were used to grind corn and sometimes also to regulate streams of water e.g. in canals. (Karoline) 4. How did the production of wind energy develop from 1996 to 2011? In Germany there has been a constant increase in the number of wind power plants, especially in the North. There also is governmental funding for renewable energies. (Fridolin) Did you know? The TIMBER TOWER is the first wind power plant with a wooded shaft. It is much lighter than common plants. It can be found in the grounds of the Leibniz Universität Hannover.
  • 2. Multilateral Comenius Project Germany – Spain – France - Italy Part 2: Location 1. Which places are the best locations for wind energy stations? Lower Saxony is the German state with the highest number of wind power plants. Last year, a fifth of all new wind power plants of Germany was installed in Lower Saxony. Hence the state is able to produce more than 7.000MegaWatts of wind power. About 25% of the power used in Lower Saxony can be produced by renewable energies. (Fridolin) There should be strong and constant wind and no extreme temperatures. There shouldn't any obstacles like trees or villages or mountains. Flat area are best. (Helena und Johanna) You can build a simple wind power plant easily. This is probably the most simple model: Use strong paper or a piece of thin plastic. You can even recycle the backside of an old folder! The best locations for wind energy are places where there is a lot of wind. Because of that on hills, by the sea, in the sea or on flat land it is very good. (Balthasar and Fridolin) 2. How much distance must there be between two wind energy stations? The distance should be between five lengths of a rotor blade and nine lengths of a rotor blade. But the land between the plants can be used for agriculture or farming or something like that. (Julia) 3. Is a wind energy station also good for private users? Small wind energy plants can be built for remote areas or lighthouses but the bigger types you see here everywhere are too expensive to build privately. (Julia) Small ones can be built out of easy material like old wheels and a bicycle dynamo so electricity can be produced in those developing countries in remote areas where electricity normally isn't available. (Balthasar and Fridolin) Or you try this:
  • 3. Multilateral Comenius Project Germany – Spain – France - Italy Here are two examples of bases of offshore constructions. They have to be able to resist the powers of the water and the waves. 4. What are "offshore" wind energy stations? Wind energy stations which are built in the sea. (Helena and Johanna) 5. Are offshore energy stations better than others? Yes, they can produce much more energy than on land and that you have much more space to build many of them. But there are also disadvantages. And it's not always possible to build them at sea. (Balthasar and Fridolin) At sea the wind doesn't have a barrier so it's more constant and efficient. Moreover, the available space on land becomes fewer. (Leoni K.) The yield of the individual plants is much better than on land. (Helena and Johanna)
  • 4. Multilateral Comenius Project Germany – Spain – France - Italy Part 3: Advantages , disadvantages and problems: 1. What problems exist? Problems and dangers for wind power plants are lightning strikes and air traffic. Other problems are , environmental damages and noise pollution. Some people say that wind energy plants destroy the beauty of the landscape. (Leonie K. and Tamina) 2. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of wind power plants? You usually don`t hear them, they are very quiet. If you are at a distance of 200 m or more you can´t hear them because of other, normal noise that surrounds us. (Leoni O. and Marie) Like the sunshine, wind energy is unlimited. (Fridolin) Wind power is one of the cheapest types of renewable sources of energy. The costs of wind power and coal power are more or less the same. (Leonie O. and Marie) They can create additional income and jobs in areas where there is no industry. (Leonie K. und Tamina) 3. Are there any negative consequences of wind energy for the nature? Birds can be harmed. (Fridolin) Cattle grazes under the constructions and sheep even seek shelter there. Only birds are sometimes a bit disturbed while flying. (Leonie O. and Marie) There's little damage to the countryside but at sea fish and other animals can be disturbed while offshore plants are built. (Anna) They are neither safe for birds nor for bats. But companies are not allowed to build them on baiting-places of birds or on flight paths of birds. (Florian, Kevin, and Michael) A NABU study has confirmed that each wind power plant kills on average half a bird per year. To compare: BUND estimates that about 5-10 Mio birds are killed in road traffic and because of power cables every year. Bats are in danger at roughly the same level as birds. It's not completely clear how sea mammals like whales and dolphins react to offshore plants. But general negative impacts on animals and biosphere have only been recorded while the offshore plants are built. Once they are there, animals seem to adapt to them easily. (Michael)
  • 5. Multilateral Comenius Project Germany – Spain – France - Italy Part 4: Efficiency 1. What preconditions are necessary for wind energy power stations? Constant and intense wind and good climatic conditions (Leonie K. and Tamina) 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages in terms of efficiency? Wind power can only be produced if there's any wind. That means it's produced 98,5 per cent of the time of the year in Germany. (Leonie O. and Marie) Wind energy is unlimited - like the sunshine. That's because the sun is the source of the wind and because of that reason it isn´t limited. (Balthasar and Fridolin) There are about 22.660 wind energy plants in Germany - most of them in the North. They produce ca. 30.000MegaWatts which is more or less the same as 20 nuclear power stations. In Germany about 10% of the power is produced by wind power plants. (Karoline) 3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of offshore plants? At sea the wind doesn't have a barrier so it's much stronger, more constant and the plant is more efficient. Moreover, the available space on land becomes fewer. (Leoni K.) The advantages are that you can produce much more energy than on land and that you have much more space. But probably the biggest disadvantage at the time of the construction of the plant is that the fish and other animals who live in the ocean are disturbed in their living conditions by vibrations of ships and use of machinery. Also the construction itself is more expensive than on land. (Balthasar and Fridolin) Disadvantages are the high costs of the installation, construction and maintenance of offshore plants. (Leonie K. and Tamina)