Global maps of average wind speed help researchers determine where to develop wind energy. Wind turbines (high-tech windmills) can generate power in places far from power plants and without an electricity grid—but planners need to know where there is sufficient wind for the turbines to operate efficiently. A team at NASA’s Langley Research Center developed these maps, and maps of solar insolation, and provide them free of charge. Private companies are using these data to design, build, and market new technologies for harnessing this energy.
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