The use of wind energy is becoming more and more common in several European countries. In fact, the output of wind energy doubled in 2007 to about 67 giga-watts. While this is generally a very good thing, people in Germany, Spain, and other countries that use large amounts of wind are discovering problems with the power. If solutions cannot be found, power companies may have to resort to drastic measures.
On a more positive note, a company in Nevada recently began testing a new breed of wind turbine. Mounted on a vertical pole, the blades rotate around it, more like an egg-beater than a windmill. Though this is not necessarily a new idea, the vertical engine has long been dismissed for being too inefficient. Mariah Power, using new, cheaper materials, has it all riding on these turbines of the future.
Also included in this show is the exciting story of the Solar Challenge, a race across Australia. The competitors are college student from around the world. Following one team specifically, the reporter explains the competition through talks with the racers and coverage of the technological and physical aspects of each car.
The Wind and Solar Energy Special is an in-depth look at some alternative energy sources being used today. All three portions are special reports done by Spectrum Radio's corespondents, including short interviews with experts and others involved.
This free podcast is from our IEEE Spectrum Radio series.