English Listening Lesson
Audio file: 2:09 min
Story length: 262 words
Here is the listening file for this lesson.
Is there an energy problem? Some people think so. Using oil is bad because it makes dirty air.
In addition, there might not be much oil in 30 years. One possible answer is energy from wind.
How does wind power work?
Special machines change wind into electricity. They are called wind turbines. These big, heavy machines can weigh 300 tonnes and stand 130 meters. Sometimes you can see a large group of turbines in the countryside or near the sea. That is called a wind farm.
Many wind turbines have three long sticks called blades. When the wind moves, the blades turn.
When blades turn, they move a special stick called a shaft. The shaft turns a generator which makes electricity.
One large turbine can produce enough power for about 300 homes for a year. That number depends on the size of the turbine and amount of wind.
Not everyone thinks wind turbines are good. Turbines make a lot of sound and kill a lot of birds. They also cost a lot of money. One big turbine costs about 4 million dollars. Wind turbines don’t save money. Often, people in a city with a wind farm pay more for electricity, not less.
There is one serious problem. Wind power cannot replace other energy, like coal or oil. That is because wind power does not always work. When the wind stops, there is no electricity. That means a city needs another way to make power. Cities that buy wind power have to purchase another source of energy.
Wind power seems like a good idea, but today the cost is high and its benefits are limited.
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