Small and large wind turbine: The duality of wind power technology

Author Info
Hao-Jan Wu
Dahu Junior High School

Renewable energy has been promoted for its inexhaustibility and environmental friendliness. It can also deliver us from the bondage of high-tech equipments. Amongst different forms of renewable energy, wind power is one of the rising stars. As it has the potential to fulfill the three promises listed above, energy officials and environmentalists have been calling for its wide application. The present study shows that, although the inexhaustibility and environmental merits of wind power have long been recognized, the promise of independence from technological control has all too often been neglected. In addition, the recent trend of wind power industry drifts away from the idea of distributed generation of energy. The phenomenon of 'technological duality' in the wind power industry will be discussed. The ways in which the difference in 'scale' leads to 'technological duality' will also be explained. Finally, using Beder's notion of 'technological paradigm' and Hughes' notion of 'system inertia,' the article analyzes how power companies and electrical grids collaborate to change the characters of wind power technology.

Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, Number 7