Scientists say that there are only a few sources of power so far discovered by humans that can meet the energy demands of today's society: Fossil fuels, nuclear power, wind, and solar power are all capable of producing enough power to fuel the world today.
Of those, wind power is among the most promising "green" ways of producing power, but it does have some limitations. For example, the wind doesn't always blow strongly, and the towers that hold the turbines must be very high to capture the most powerful wind.
A group of scientists in California is looking at new methods of capturing wind that would make it a more consistent and efficient source of power. They are developing a kite-like device that is tethered to the ground by a long, flexible cord and can sweep through the atmosphere gathering the most powerful winds to turn into energy.
The scientists behind the project, known as Wing 7, expect it will be fully functional and ready for production by 2015.
"The wing that we fly around is actually, by definition, a kite. So it's a tethered airfoil. Makani's technology is very similar to a conventional wind turbine. And, in fact, the physics and the principles behind it are exactly the same." - Corwin Hardham, CEO, Makani Power
"Because of the weird physics on a rotating Earth around the mid-latitudes, where you have the transition from the tropical air to the arctic air is where you get these powerful jet streams. As you go down in the atmosphere from the jet streams, the winds get weaker and weaker and more and more variable." - Ken Caldera, Carnegie Institution of Global Ecology
"We need huge amounts of power, and the things that can provide huge amounts of power include fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas; nuclear power; solar power and wind. Wind is relatively affordable, but there's controversy about whether wind on the surface of the planet can provide enough energy to really power civilization." - Ken Caldera, Carnegie Institution of Global Ecology
1. What are some ways that humans generate electricity?
2. What do humans use electricity for?
3. What are some examples of "green" energy?
1. According to the video, why is the Wing 7 kite a better way of gathering wind power than a standard turbine?
2. According to the video, how does wind work? Why is it stronger the higher you go?
3. If you had to choose one form of energy creation to invest in to power the country in the future, what would you choose? Why?