The Land of Fire

Oil and gas have helped shape Azerbaijan’s history and landscape. Natural gas makes the mud volcanoes of Gobustan bubble and gurgle. There are also huge pockets of oil beneath the ground that formed nearly 300 million years ago.

The country pumps nearly one million barrels of oil a day! From the car window I can see oil pumps everywhere. To me, these pumps look like enormous stick figure birds, dipping their beaks into the ground as they pump oil up from the deep within the Earth.

Even though the country has plenty of oil for its citizens, it is investing in alternative power sources. Wind power and solar power are two types of alternative energy.

The history of wind power dates back to around 500 CE with the invention of the windmill. The idea to harness wind to create electricity popped up in the late 1800s and the first wind turbines appeared in Scotland, Denmark, and America. Today, wind farms are made up of many turbines working together to create large amounts of electricity.

The windy, open plains of Azerbaijan are a perfect location for wind energy production. Azerbaijan isn’t the only place using this kind of technology, though. Countries like the Netherlands and America are some of the top producers of wind energy. In the deserts of southern California there are entire fields of wind turbines, constantly spinning and producing energy.