Questions for Wind Power Is Looking to the Clouds | Science News for Students

Questions for Wind Power Is Looking to the Clouds

Nov 20, 2014 — 8:00 am EST
AweCrosswind/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Before reading

1.    Name three sources of energy. What might be the benefits or downsides of each?

2.    What is renewable energy? Give an example.

During reading

1.    What is a wind turbine?

2.    Name three concerns that people have about wind turbines.

3.    Describe two potential benefits of placing wind turbines in the sky.

4.    Why do winds tend to be slower near the Earth’s surface?

5.    Why did Christina Archer and her team analyze 21 years’ worth of weather data?

6.    Why is the U.S. Great Plains a promising site for airborne wind power?

7.    What are the four main ingredients needed for an airborne wind turbine?

8.    Name three ways that a wind turbine could be flown high in the sky.

9.    Why can’t a simple rope be used to tether an airborne wind turbine to the ground?

After reading

1.    Scientists and engineers have devised many ways to loft a wind turbine into the sky — by blimp, helicopter, kite and a single, solid wing. Which one do you think is best? Why?

2.    Why might some energy companies prefer to keep their air turbines on the ground?


1.    Why might a government want to restrict what can fly in the sky? How might they alter those rules to accommodate airborne wind turbines?

Further Reading

S. Perkins. "Wind power is looking up — to the clouds.Science News for Students. November 20, 2014.