Did you know that wind generated power is the second largest source of renewable energy after solar?

A couple of months ago I drove through the Queensland Tablelands and spotted some amazing windfarms on the distant hills so I decided to go and check them out up close. Alternate energy has always been fascinating to me and wind generated energy seems not bad in my opinion, however talking to local folk some of them heavily opposed to their landscape being marred by swishing blades claiming certain health issues were at stake besides the ugliness of steel monsters towering over their properties.

This would be an ideal topic to research for kids who are interested or are learning about alternate or renewable energy. Like majestic giants these monuments stand perfectly still and almost silent, apart from their massive blades rotating with the wind.


These blades cutting through the air is a type of energy which generates electricity by harnessing the wind. The wind turbines actually use their energy of the wind to spin an electric generator, and this of course provides us with the electricity. You can find these wonderful structures on hilltops and often along coastlines where plenty of wind is present. I believe some of these wind turbines have been built in the ocean, like giant floating structures or in some cases fixed to enormous pylons which have been driven into the ocean floor.

Apparently, this type of energy is one of Australia’s main sources of renewable energy but only generates between 7 and 8 percent of electricity needed for our country’s demand which isn't a great deal if you ask me! So, is this financially viable considering the cost of building these windfarms? Are these humongous structures safe to stand under, visit, or live near them? Many questions pop in my mind. These massive turbines are awesome to watch and make you feel rather small and insignificant but what are the long-term effects or outcomes of these turbines marring our landscape.

with permission @travellingcogs

I believe this topic can deliver a great project idea with many questions that can be researched and hopefully answered; questions such as...

  • What are wind farms?
  • Where can you find wind farms?
  • Who could benefit from wind farms?
  • What are some of the pro’s and con’s of windfarms?
  • Are you able to visit a wind farm and take photos.
  • Explain the basics (or in-depth) of how electricity is generated by these turbines.
  • Besides wind farms what are some other alternate energy options?
  • Do wind farms create health side-effects for those living nearby?
  • What is the life span of just one turbine?
  • What is the estimate cost of establishing a wind farm.


Those are just a few ideas to explore but you could go much more in-depth or keep it fairly basic depending on who is learning or whom you’re teaching. Here is a link to a free sample worksheet which you can download and is roughly suitable for ages 10-12.

I hope you will find these gigantic structures as fascinating as I do and perhaps encourage your kids to delve into this technology and learn something different about renewable energy. Those living on rural properties probably already utilise some type of renewable energy, with options such as windmills to pump water, solar power, or wind turbines to produce electricity. Alternative power is a great area to explore, learn about and invent gadgets or whole houses that utilise the energy created by one or the other above options. Are you using any alternate energy on your property?

When we had 130 acres we were fully solar powered and relied on rainfall to fill our watertanks. No mains electricity connected and no town water connected. It was different and we learnt heaps about saving power! For example, washing in the machine was done mid-morning... never after 3 o'clock because the batteries wouldn't fully charge if we did. The washing water was put on our fruit trees or other plants.

Our solar panels produced enough power to charge the battery bank and we ran a fridge, freezer, lights, laptops, and television without to much trouble. When the sun didn't shine we had a noisy back-up generator but we tried to avoid using it.

We always tossed with the idea of wind generation but never managed to pull it off due to cost and logistics of building a structure on rocky ground, (let alone in the ocean) so we stuck with solar power instead. It would have been awesome though to have experimented with that alternate wind energy option.


With building even a small wind turbine in your yard you need building approval, in Australia anyway, and my guess you would have to in most countries as these structures can become dangerous flying objects if not installed properly and maintained.

Apparently a data search from way back in 2016 put the number of turbines at over 341000. Wind turbines across the globe have increased since and some turbines contain up to 1400 liters of different oils inside them. Imagine the oil leaks! So what is deemed as clean energy can become an environmental pollution problem.

Obviously with the structural stresses, age, weather conditions, and infrequent servicing it doesn't surprise me that quite a number of wind turbines actually leak oil and clean energy is unfortunately causing that dirty environmental side effect.

Anyway, that's enough rambling about my windfarm experience... if you have kids you can download that free resource and do some research with them.

Photos and written work is my own unless specified otherwise.

renewable energy...

the dirty side to clean energy...

free resources for kids...

-turbines in ocean...
Adobe photostock,
-father and children near turbine


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