The advantages and disadvantages of the Wind Energy as a renewable source of electricity are displayed in this article.
The Wind Energy is one of many ways energy can be generated naturally. In recent years, the use of fossil fuels in generating electricity has been dramatically reduced, and many of these renewable sources are becoming more popular. However, they have their unique benefits as well as fallouts. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Wind Energy.
What is Wind Energy?
Wind energy is the use of air flow to provide mechanical power to turn on electric generators to produce electricity. This is through the use of wind turbines that convert the kinetic energy in the wind to mechanical power. Mechanical energy can be used for a specific task such as pumping water. In time past, wind energy was used to get water and also ground grains, so wind energy was not just discovered.
Using Wind Energy – How it works
Wind is the movement of air from a place of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Wind is brought about by the non-uniform heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth and the variations in the earth’s surface. The wind flow pattern is influenced by vegetation, mountains and water bodies. The amount of wind-generated depends on the location.
Wind turbines transform the energy in the wind to electricity by the rotation of propellers like blades around a rotor which turns the drive shaft that rotates on the electric generator. The electricity from the electric generator is then sent to a transformer that increases the voltage before sending the electricity to a distribution line. Then, the local transformers reduce the voltage before posting it to homes and businesses. To generate electricity on a large scale, some wind turbines are set up in place.
The wind turbines are made tall because wind increases at a higher altitude. The wind turbines need to be very tall to provide the necessary energy. The wind turbines spin faster if the wind resource is tremendous so it needs to be located in a place with high wind force. A wind farm is a collection of wind turbines in a particular location to produce electricity. A wind farm can exist on land or offshore.
Wind turbines can be from 300 to 400 feet tall, and the blades which are three in number can be between 115 to 148 feet long.
This article will now outline the many advantages and then the disadvantages of Wind energy.
The Advantages of Wind Energy.
Clean fuel source
Wind energy does not pollute the air or environment like other power plants. The wind turbines do not produce atmospheric emissions that can lead to greenhouse gases or acid rain. The wind turbines harmlessly generate electricity from the wind passing by. Wind energy is far more eco-friendly when compared with burning fossil fuels for electricity. Although it is true that the manufacture, installation and transportation of wind turbines can contribute to global warming but the electricity it produces does not emit dangerous gases.
2. Free and Renewable
Wind energy is a form of solar energy because the wind is formed by the sun heating the atmosphere, the irregularities of the earth’s surface and the rotation of the earth. So as long as the sun shines, we will continue to have wind. Harnessing wind energy does not affect wind cycles or currents in any way.
3. Cost Effective
Wind energy is one of the low priced renewable energy that is available today. It cost decidedly less depending on the wind resource and the project funding of the particular project. You do not need to buy and transport fuel to wind turbines farms since all they need to function is wind. Mass production of wind turbines and advancement in technology are making wind turbines cheaper.
4. Less space for Installation
Wind turbines can be built on existing farms or ranches where the best wind sites are located. Wind turbines use only a fraction of the land and cause no trouble to the farmers or the rancher. This can provide additional income to the owners. After installation of the wind turbines, land can still be used farming and other agricultural functions.
5. Create Job Opportunities
The job of a wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing jobs today. Wind energy created jobs such as wind turbines manufacturers, installers, maintenance and support services. The more technology advances, the more these skills are needed.
6. Independent Power supply
People living in a remote area and are not connected to the electric power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply of electricity independently. They do not have to wait to get connected to electric power grids but can produce theirs. This helps them avoid expensive electricity bills.
Read more: 5 advantages of Solar Energy
The disadvantages of wind energy
Far wind Sites
Good wind sites are usually found in very remote areas, very far from towns and cities where the wind energy is needed. Transmission lines must be built to bring the electricity from the wind site to where it is needed. This can cost a lot. The cost of travel and maintenance to these sites increases and it can often be time-consuming. Offshore sites need boats and can be dangerous and difficult to manage.
2. Noise and Aesthetic pollution
The wind turbines might be a cause of noise and aesthetic pollution. Although wind power plants bring no harmful impact on the environment compared to other conventional power plants, it can cause concern because the rotor blades can be a cause of the noise. Wind turbines produce the same amount of noise as a car travelling at 70mph.
The wind turbines can be unpleasant to the eyes of some people. Many are concerned with the visual effect wind turbines have on the beautiful scenery of nature.
3. Initial Expense
The construction of wind turbines and other wind facilities is highly expensive. It must also be installed in the right place where there is much wind for the wind turbines to function well. To install wind turbines offshore is very useful but cost way more than installing on land.
4. Danger to Wildlife
Wind turbines are very dangerous to flying animals. Many bats and birds have been killed by the rotating blades. Since wind turbines are always at a staggering height, birds are usually at a collision course with them, and this can lead to their deaths at often.
5. Fluctuation of wind
Although wind energy is sustainable and renewable, it is not reliable because the wind does not always blow. This is a problem for wind turbines owners who spend money and time scrutinizing whether an area is suitable to provide enough wind energy. The wind varies from zero to storm force meaning wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity everytime. They will also be times when no electricity is produced at all.
6. Temporary Employment
Wind energy only proffers temporary employment as the workforce is only needed in the manufacturing, transporting and installing of wind turbines. After all this, it just needs a few maintenance workers.
During the construction of wind turbines, large pieces of equipment are used, and these pieces of equipment cause damage and erosion to the land. This can cause long-term problems to the owners of the property.
Even with the limitations of wind energy, we should not give up this promising technology. The future of wind energy looks promising, and great prospects can be achieved with it.
Technology is advancing every day and the development of wind farms is going on every day. Wind energy is indeed one of the high hopes of our future. What do you think about the use of Wind energy as an energy source? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.