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Clean Power wind turbine by Danish company Vestas

Published on August 9th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


New Wind Turbines 300X More Powerful than in 1996 (+ Top Wind Power Stories)

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August 9th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
wind turbine by Danish company Vestas

I can’t say I was the one who noticed this, but that’s a pretty cool stat — some new wind turbines (sold today by Vestas) are 300x more powerful than wind turbines sold 15 years ago.

Furthermore, if you consider that modern-day wind turbines have been under development for about 100 years less than automobiles, and you think about the advancements made in automobiles in that 100 years, you can pretty safely assume that wind turbines today will not compare to those of the future.

It’s funny to run across this information and idea just a day or so after a back-and-forth with a commenter here on CleanTechnica who was arguing that wind turbines are old technology of no real value and we should be pursuing nuclear instead. Well, considering the advancements made in wind turbines in the last 15 years, the power they are already creating, the fact that wind power is one of the cheapest options (if not the cheapest option) for new electricity, and the potential and projections for the future wind power growth, I don’t really think many people would be inclined to believe that argument. But hey, what do I know?

Anyway, if you are a wind power fan (or even if you’re not), you may find these top wind power stories of the past week (other than our own stories on the topic) interesting:

  1. Report: EU wind energy market to triple in size by 2020 [People's Daily]
  2. Maryland Youth Campaign for Offshore Wind [Chesapeake Climate Action Network]
  3. Hippy Dropout Becomes Wind Energy Mogul [TreeHugger]
  4. Can Germany’s North Sea Winds Blow Away Nuclear? [Greentech Media]
  5. Wind Capital Reaches For 500 MW Capacity in Just Seven Years [Power Engineering]
  6. Grid Connection Deal Paves the Way for More Wind Power in Romania [GE]
Wind Power Projects & Orders
  1. Capital Power, Samsung partner on Canada wind farm [Reuters]
  2. International Power signs wind power deal in Ontario [Reuters]
  3. REpower wins latest Co-operative wind farm deal [Business Green]
  4. 5-MW turbine Installed at Vattenfall Wind Farm in UK [Power Engineering]
  5. New Wind Farms Announced in Michigan [MLive]
  6. Vestas receives order for 92 MW in Spain [Vestas]
  7. Vestas receives order for 47 MW in India [Vestas]
Image via LoraxV

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Sayntrazi

    Large wind turbines are less efficient than smaller ones, need heavy construction equipment, lar

    • Anonymous

      You’ve got that backwards. Large turbines are far more efficient than small turbines.

      That’s why turbines keep getting larger and larger. Wind generation is one place where small is not beautiful….

  • catman 306

    The new vertical shaft wind turbines can be densely packed to get 10 times the power / square foot of wind farm. Caltech

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Yes, but the ones so far designed sit close to the ground where the wind is not as strong and clean.

      Also, it’s not clear that their actual footprint is smaller. Turbine bases in wind farms take up less than 2% of the land, leaving 98% of the land usable for farming/grazing/wildlife.

      I would suggest we need to do a bit more math before we declare an advantage for vertical shaft turbines. This is not a new design, several were installed years back in the Altamont Pass wind farm for example. People didn’t pursue vertical turbines because horizontal turbines produced more electricity for the dollar.

  • Asdf

    actually, automobiles are not much more effective today than they were 100 years ago, from an energy point of view. especially in the US

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