Loyola University Chicago

Department of Physics

Background on Wind Energy

As the popularity of renewable energy rises in response to increasing concerns about environmental issues,  wind energy has become particularly attractive since it is the cleanest and most cost effective among all sources of energy.

According to studies published by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), One  MW of energy produced  by wind avoids 2600 tons of carbon emissions that would be produced by fossil fuel based equivalents.

Although wind has been converted into mechanical energy for centuries, today’s wind turbines provide only a small percentage of the world’s electricity. With the implementation of innovative technologies that transformed wind turbines into more efficient, affordable and cost effective products, the US has  witnessed a 25% annual growth  in wind turbine use between 2005 and 2014, making it the fastest growing mode of electricity production nationally. In the US, large wind farms have been installed in more than 38 states and are operating utility-grade installations, with Texas alone producing around 1,289 megawatts of energy in the year 2012.

Loyola University, ranked as one of the greenest colleges in America, is committed to using the best available resources to reach its goal of a Net-Zero carbon footprint, including renewable energy sources.  At the department of physics, students and faculty have been involved in a wind feasibility study to assess the possibilities of harnessing wind energy on the Lake Shore campus and identifying optimal locations for installation.