Wind energy: advantages and disadvantages

Countries all across the world are investing in renewable energy as the threat posed by climate change grows. Wind energy is one of the renewable energy sources that is expanding the quickest.

Currently making almost 7% of all energy produced in the United States, wind power offers enormous development potential. But it’s critical to take into account all facets of an energy source when deciding how to power our future.

In this essay, we’ll explain out its main advantages and disadvantages to assist you in understanding.

Pros and cons of wind energy

Wind energy is no different than other energy sources in that it has both benefits and drawbacks. There has recently been a lot of false information spread concerning wind energy.

We’ll list a few of the most significant benefits and drawbacks of wind energy to help dispel some of the misinformation, including:

Clean energy sourceIntermittent
Renewable energy sourceEnvironmental impact
Space efficientNoise pollution
Cheap energyAesthetics
Promotes jobsLimited locations

What is wind energy?

Although there are a number of methods we may employ to capture wind energy, wind turbines remain the most widely used one.

The basic principle of how wind turbines operate is that the kinetic energy of the wind propels the turbine’s blades around a rotor. The turbine’s rotor spins a generator, which turns out useable electricity.

There has been a long history of using wind energy. In 1888, the first windmill for generating electricity was constructed.

Advantages of wind energy

1. Clean energy

One of the cleanest energy sources is wind energy. There are no greenhouse emissions produced when energy is produced by wind turbines.

It is true that some pollution is released during the production, shipping, and installation of wind turbines. However, it falls well short of the emissions produced by burning fossil fuels.

Energy generation itself is seen as a source of green energy because it produces no greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Renewable

Wind energy is a renewable energy source, which means that when it is used, the energy source is not exhausted. Therefore, when we consume wind energy, the amount of wind that is accessible does not diminish.

For non-renewable energy sources like oil and natural gas, this is not the case. As fossil fuels are consumed, less of them will be accessible for use in the future.

3. Space efficient

The fact that wind turbines cannot be placed too closely together accounts for the size of solar farms. However, the wind turbines themselves don’t occupy a lot of room.

Wind farms are common in rural areas because they allow for cultivation in the space between each turbine. Additionally, each turbine has the capacity to generate a significant amount of electricity, or about 2,500 homes’ worth.

4. Low-cost energy

Wind turbines cost a lot up front, but the electricity they generate is inexpensive. This is due to a number of factors, one of which is the fact that the turbines’ fuel is free. Wind is uncostly! Once they are built, turbines require little maintenance and have cheap running costs.

Studies reveal that the cost of wind energy is approximately $0.029 per kilowatt hour when you factor in the initial outlays as well as the expenses of operations and maintenance during the lifetime of the turbine.

When you take into account the cost of building and running coal power plants, that works out to be substantially less expensive than coal, which works out to be roughly $0.036 per kilowatt hour.

5. Promotes job growth

The wind sector is expanding quickly every year. Over 30 million homes might be powered by wind energy thanks to a more than two-fold increase in installed wind capacity in the U.S. between 2010 and 2018. This expansion has made thousands of new jobs possible.

Over 120,000 Americans currently work in the wind industry, including installers, technicians, and manufacturers. In fact, the second-fastest expanding occupation in America is that of a wind turbine technician.

By 2050, it is anticipated that wind energy will generate more than 600,000 additional jobs as its popularity continues to rise.

Disadvantages of wind energy

1. Unpredictable

The inability to dependably create wind energy is arguably its largest drawback. The wind must be blowing in order to produce energy.

The wind speed affects how much electricity is generated by turbines. As a result, wind energy is not a good base load energy source, also known as our primary source of power generation.

However, it might be conceivable to rely more on wind power as energy storage technology continues to get more affordable. However, for the time being, wind turbines must be utilized in combination with other energy sources due to their unreliability in order to meet our electricity needs.

2. Threat to wildlife

Although wind turbines do not emit greenhouse gases that harm the environment, they can have an influence on wildlife.

When directly struck by a revolving wind turbine blade, birds, bats, and other flying animals have a very tiny chance of surviving. In fact, research suggest that between 140,000 and 500,000 birds each year are killed by wind turbines. In contrast, it is thought that between 365 and 988 million birds per year are killed in accidents with structures.

Bird collisions can be reduced by carefully designing the locations of wind farms.

3. Noise

Some residents who live close to wind turbines complain about noise. The turbine’s generator emits a mechanical hum, and as the blades travel through the air, they produce a “whooshing” sound.

The good news is that modern wind turbines are significantly quieter than older ones, and this trend is likely to continue as technology improves.

4. Looks

Wind turbines are a noticeable feature of any landscape since they must be constructed high in order to capture adequate wind. Large wind turbines can be considered an eyesore by some, however this is more of a matter of taste.

5. Location limitations

Wind turbines must be erected in an area where they can generate enough electricity for them to be economically feasible. The greatest locations for wind farms are broad plains, hilltops, and coastal regions – basically anywhere with consistent, strong wind.

The majority of these appropriate locations are typically found offshore, in more rural areas, or in distant locations far from cities and towns. Due to this separation, new infrastructure, including power lines, must be constructed in order to link a wind farm to the electrical grid.

This can be expensive and potentially harmful to the environment (i.e by tearing down trees to make way for power lines)

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