Did you know the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics are entirely powered by Wind Energy?
As the snowboarding athletes get ready for their run from atop the half pipes, they have a clear view of numerous windmills dotting the mountain ridges.
These humble windmills are responsible for powering the entire 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics!
How is the Winter Olympics helping the environment?
The wind farms were specially built by the Olympics organizing committee in the Gangwon Province. They generate 203 megawatts (MW) of power, which is 104 percent of what is required for the games.
So many times, there are Olympic Villages and sporting infrastructure built that fall into disuse and disrepair after the games are completed. The goal here is to provide zero emission energy for the games, and to try and ensure sustainability. This means that they wanted to create infrastructure that could be used by the people of the province going forward. The wind farms go a long way towards doing that as they can be used to power the area for a long time after the Games are over.
What is wind power and how is South Korea using it?
Wind power is electric energy generated from wind. The wind moves the arms of the windmill, and the kinetic energy generated through this movement is then converted into electrical energy by a small generator. This is one form of renewable energy.
South Korea is implementing plans to make renewables their first choice of power generation for the next 15 years.
Their first commercial offshore wind farm called the Tamra Offshore Wind Project (on Jeju Island) has 10 wind turbines that produce enough power to cover the electricity needs of about 7,000 Korean households.
But why are the athletes not happy with this wind that is enabling clean power?
The same wind is also wreaking havoc during the Games. The ski and snowboarding events have had to be postponed due to the conditions. Tents and signs were blowing everywhere! The wind is so strong that hangers in the closets of 20-plus storey apartment buildings are rocking around! Athletes have been complaining about the winds all week and some have even suffered severe falls and injuries due to the high wind speed.
Shruti Divecha was a graphic and textile designer by profession till her curiosity filled daughter pulled out the writer inside her. She writes stories, GK nuggets and teaches recycled crafts to children.