History of harnessing wind power

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, the history of wind power evolution from antiquity to contemporary time is presented. From the use of sails to electrical utility-scale modern wind generators, wind power has been reengineered using modern materials and engineering knowledge. It is a fascinating field of study and captivates the interest of passionate, creative, and romantic people. Its future success will depend on setting its footing on solid and realistic science and engineering and away from unrealistic dreams of perpetual motion machines and unbiased romanticism. As wind machines depend on the wind as an energy source and as wind is intermittent, unreliable, unsteady, and unpredictable, it requires the development of innovative energy storage technologies. The advantage of the wind as a source of energy is that it is not just renewable, but infinite in magnitude originating in the Sun’s fusion energy that is trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. As fossil fuels are experiencing localized as well as global peaking in their production and concerns about pollution and the release of greenhouse gases, wind machines are reclaiming, with new materials and electronic controls and advanced technology, an important share of the energy production realm. Renewable sources of energy are characterized by the use of a large labor supply providing job opportunities in highly populated economies. Their implementation is rapid: it takes about 2 years in the United States for the production of wind turbines, the implementation and the establishment of a wind park or farm as they only require local regulations, whereas nuclear power stations require 10 years or more because they are bound by lengthy federal regulations. The world is embarking on a third industrial revolution: the Low Carbon Age; and wind power is being reinvented to help fill the emergent need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWind Energy Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook for Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbines
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780323993531
ISBN (Print)9780323958301
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Wind
  • wind history and windmills evolution
  • wind power
  • wind turbine
  • windmill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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