It's a Breeze

In a Flash

Wind Farm in Ocean

Wind turbines can operate at sea as well as on land.


Wind is simply air that is moving. It is produced as different types of land and water absorb the Sun's energy at different rates. Wind can be used to generate electricity using wind turbines.

Burning Questions

How does wind form?

As the Sun heats up the Earth's surface, its energy is absorbed at different rates depending on the type of surface. For example, areas of land will absorb the Sun's energy at a different rate to bodies of water.

This uneven heating of the Earth's surface results in moving air – what we call wind.

How can wind be used as an energy source?

Wind can be harnessed and converted to electricity using man-made structures called wind turbines.

This electricity can be used for residential and commercial purposes.

How do wind turbines work?

Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in wind into motion energy which generates electricity. Here's how:

  1. Moving air turns the blades of the wind turbine.
  2. These blades are connected to a low-speed shaft – when the blades spin, they turn the shaft.
  3. The low-speed shaft is connected to a gear box. Inside, a large slow-moving gear turns a small gear quickly, and the small gear then turns another shaft at high speed.
  4. The high-speed shaft is connected to a generator. As the shaft turns the generator, electricity is produced.
  5. The electric current runs through cables down the turbine tower. It reaches a transformer that changes the voltage of the current so it can be sent out on transmission lines.

Further examples are:
Water stored in a dam, a large boulder at the edge of a cliff, roller coasters, a skateboard on the top of a ramp.

How a Wind Turbine Works Diagram

Moving air turns wind turbines to create electricity.

What Do You Mean?

autumn leaves

Wind can be seen in action moving dry leaves on the ground.

Wind is air that is moving.

Wind turbines are man-made structures that convert wind into electricity.

Kinetic energy is energy that results from something being in motion.

Renewable Energy comes from a source that will never run out. Wind energy is renewable because it is a natural resource that cannot be depleted.

Cool Facts

Land breezes are caused by rising warm air over water, while sea breezes are caused by rising warm air over land.

Cool Facts

Wind turbines are usually around 120 metres high to capture stronger winds, and their blades span about 45 metres.

Cool Facts

China has the world's biggest wind power sector, followed by the USA and Germany.

Speedy Summary

Four Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are man-made structures that convert wind into electricity.

Wind is air in motion, produced by the uneven heating of the Earth's surface. The kinetic energy in wind can be converted to electricity by wind turbines.