(an article writen in 90’s. Look how fast the technologhy has changed since then)
In its search for alternatives to fossil-fuel energy sources, science is looking back in history at the windmill. Small windmills once were seen everywhere in rural America, but most were abandoned with the emergence of rural electrification programs in the 1930’s. Now energy shortages and rising petroleum prices have brought renewed interest in putting the wind to work.
Some scientists estimate that with enough investment in research and development, windmills could supply 20 per cent of U.S. electrical needs by the year 2000. The Sandia Laboratories in New Mexico are testing an altogether different device that looks more like a giant eggbeater than a conventional windmill. Its principal advantage is that its symmetrical shape catches wind from any direction.
All designers of new windmills face one very old problem, however: what to do when the wind dies. One solution would be to use windmills to pump water uphill into storage reservoirs. When the wind stops, the water would be released to drive hydraulic turbines. Meanwhile, U.S. ranchers and farmers in the southwest are so eager to utilize wind power that New Mexico State University is offering a special course in the operation and maintenance of windmills built a generation ago.
Mark the best choice.
1. Scientists are trying to make use of wind power by means of windmills because
a) they were abandoned about 50 years ago
b) there is a need for alternatives to fossil-fuel energy sources
c) they were all small and used before the 1930’s
d) they try to catch the wind from any direction
2. The problem faced by the designers of new windmills .
a) is to pump water into storage reservoirs
b) has no satisfactory solution
c) is what to do when there is no wind
d) can be solved by hydraulic turbines
3. Which of the following statements is true?
a) The device which is being tested in New Mexico is not a satisfactory one at all.
b) 20% of the U.S. total energy need can be generated by windmills.
c) People who are interested in making use of the wind are given a special course in operating new windmills.
d) Although there are problems to be faced, windmills can be useful after a certain period of research and development.