Who Invented Wind Power?

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With the decreasing supply of fossil fuels, mankind has been forced to look elsewhere for some type of fuel source that would power our world. We’ve explored everything from geothermal energy to solar power. But only in the last 20 years or so has anyone really put much effort into developing reliable wind power.

Dutch wind mill

 

Wind Power is Free (kind of)

It’s even more unusual than you may be thinking since humans have been using the wind for centuries. The first sailing ships were powered by wind blowing across a complex set of cloth sails. Schooners were first used by the Dutch in the 16th century. Schooner rigging was first described by William Falconer in his book entitled, “Universal Dictionary of the Marine.”

Schooners have most often been used as fishing trawlers. But they were also used to bring African slaves to the United States. They’re even still used today in yacht races. Since we obviously were aware that the wind could be a powerful force if harnessed correctly, that begs the question: “Why has it taken centuries for humans to harness the power of wind?”

Wind is Everywhere

The truth probably involves a story about the discovery of oil, how oil made so many people rich and famous, and that sort of thing. It was seen as a product that could transform a city or a man from poverty to opulence. Why would anyone want to develop wind power when there’s so much money left to be made in the oil industry?

Science is telling us that the earth will finally be depleted of all it’s petroleum products within 50 years. As it becomes more scarce, it becomes more expensive. That makes it profitable to look at other ways to power things.

sunset

The Earth’s Natural Resources

Natural resources like the wind, sun, and ocean are obvious choices.

Reliance on oil is fast-becoming a thing of the past. Everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time. But the world may never run out of sun or wind. Those are sustainable natural resources that we can count on. The only thing remaining is for brilliant inventors and scientists to find imaginative systems that can transform these natural resources into the kind of power that can drive a car, a locomotive, a machine or even a smartphone.

That may become a profitable business concept for the future. Sometimes it takes time for an idea to catch on. So it could be years before anyone really utilizes wind power in such a way as to threaten the dominance of oil.

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