The energy obtained from the blowing wind is called wind energy. Wind energy can be harnessed in several different ways and put to many practical uses.
The oldest use of wind energy is transportation. Primitive sail boats made from woven mats were propelled by wind. Modern sail boats have light weight sails that work like aircraft wings and can be moved by the blowing wind in the desired direction. One of the traditional uses of wind energy is pumping and grinding. Windmills captured wind energy that was used to pump water in rural areas and also generate electricity. However, with the supply of electricity in rural areas, windmills are now rarely used to pump water and generate electricity. Traditionally, windmills were used to drive or turn heavy granite disks called millstones that were used to crush dried grains like wheat and corn to make flour.
The most important use of wind energy is the generation of electricity by using wind turbines. The shaft of a wind turbine is connected to an electrical generator. The wind energy rotates the shaft of the turbine and this movement converts the mechanical energy in the electrical generator into electrical energy. Today, electricity is generated by using wind energy on a commercial scale and is also used for domestic purposes.
Wind energy is not being used to its full potential yet. New technologies and methods need to be developed so that maximum benefits can be obtained from wind energy.