Who knew wind turbines could be so beautiful? With the right eye, these tall workhorses look more like pieces of art than components of renewable energy technology. The Global Wind Day “Wind in Mind” photo competition was launched in May 2012 by the European Wind Energy Association and over 50 partner organizations. They received a startling 2,300 entries, but the competition jury–made up of professional photographers and art directors–managed to pick six winners based on geographic location.

Check out the winning photographs below and don’t be surprised if they make you feel clean, green, and inspired.

The overall winner, Markus Haslinger is an active mountaineer, fisher and naturalist. He took this picture of the Inning Wind Farm in Lower Austria while paragliding one foggy morning.

Luca Catalano Gonza won the Asia Category. This wind farm is located at Dhule in Maharashtra, 200 miles from Mumbai, and displaces approximately 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. The photo is part of a larger project called ‘Child Survival in a Changing Climate.’

Franz Weinhofer’s winning entry in the Europe category contrasts a stork’s wings with the blades of a turbine.

Chris Wilson won the Australia/Oceania/Antarctica category with his photo of a wind turbine set against a backdrop of the Southern Lights in Antarctica. Taken at Mawson Station, these two 300kW wind turbines  are capable of carrying 100% of the station load for long periods of time and have been specially adapted to the extreme climate conditions of Antarctica.

Jeff Chamberland captured this dramatic storm cloud approaching a wind farm near Alberta, Canada. An electrician by trade, Chamberland switched to constructing turbines so he could take a proactive approach to helping the environment.

The African category goes to Electrawinds Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.  Their vision is to create South African industry throughout the wind value chain which recognizes that wind power is about people as much as about electricity.

All photos credit: GlobalWindDay.org