The terms "wind energy" or "wind power" describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity to power homes, businesses, schools, and the like.
Wind energy is very abundant many parts of the United States Wind resources are characterized by wind-power density classes, ranging from class 1 (the lowest) to class 7 (the highest). Good wind resources (class 3 and above) which have an average annual wind speed of at least 13 miles per hour, are found along the east coast, the Appalachian Mountain chain, the Great Plains, the Pacific Northwest, and some other locations. North Dakota, alone, has enough energy from class 4 and higher winds to supply 36% of the electricity of the lower 48 states. Of course, it would be impractical to move electricity everywhere from North Dakota. Wind speed is a critical feature of wind resources, because the energy in wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. In other words, a stronger wind means a lot more power.
Through the augmentation of current technologies and the Center's Energy research program it is possible to improve upon today's technology.