Wind Power Pros and Cons

Green Technologies

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The development of alternative energy sources provides humanity with a chance to protect our nature and the whole planet from destruction.

Fortunately, governments of different countries try to move towards the saving of the Earth. For example, in 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy announced the aim to produce 20% of the country’s energy with the help of wind turbines. And it’s no wonder because right now this is one of the most developed alternative sources of power.

Many people install wind turbines in a bid to save their money and reduce the environmental impact. Unluckily, such energy source may not satisfy their expectations because it has several drawbacks. That’s why it’ll be a great idea to find out more about wind turbines pros and cons before you start investing in it. Also, don’t forget to get acquainted with the popular myth about this renewable energy source.

Top 5 Advantages of Wind Energy

The constant development of wind turbines opens new opportunities and even can help to solve the problem of the energy crisis. Besides, sometimes this source of power may be even better choice than the solar panels because it doesn’t depend on direct sun rays.

1. Extra Savings

First of all, there is no need to fuel wind turbines because they run only on the power generated by wind. Furthermore, take into consideration that one large wind turbine is enough to provide near 600 U.S. houses with electricity. And if the owners of wind farms generate more power than needed, they can start selling the energy and turn it into extra cash.

2. Advanced Technologies

Due to technological development, manufacturers constantly improve wind turbines and provide them with advanced electricity generation capacity. There are so many types of wind turbines, so it’s possible to choose just the right one for home or business without any problems. And the progress doesn’t seem to stop, so soon there will be even better designs and technologies that will generate more electricity and run more quietly. 

3. Decreasing Costs and Low Maintenance Charge

Affordability is one of the most important benefits of wind energy. According to the statistic, the prices for wind turbines have fallen by 80% over the past few decades. The great fact is that the experts predict that they will keep decreasing in the future, so anyone will be able to purchase a wind turbine for home. And another benefit is that you won’t need to spend a lot of money to maintain such construction.

4. Space Efficiency

In comparison to solar panels, wind turbines don’t need so much space. What is more, the land between these energy sources can be used for various purposes such as farming. Right now only 1.5% of U.S. farmlands are used to generate wind energy. As you can see, there is an opportunity to develop a win-win strategy both for farmers and owners of wind energy plants. Such an approach will help to generate more green energy and will provide the agriculture industry with an additional source of income.

5. Green and Sustainable Energy

Wind can’t be drained as well as other renewable sources of energy. And in case you live in a windy area, wind turbines are definitely what you need. Also, the process of wind energy generation doesn’t require any harmful chemicals that may pollute the air and cause damage to the environment.

Wind turbines may pollute our planet only during their manufacturing, transportation, and installation. Nevertheless, recently Vestas company has announced that its engineers are going to solve this issue and develop a 100% eco-friendly production process in the nearest future.

Top 5 Cons of Wind Energy

Unfortunately, any source of green energy has specific drawbacks and wind energy isn’t an exception. Sometimes it’s impossible to predict the wind speed as it may often fall and rise. In addition, the manufacturers haven’t solved the problem with noise pollution, yet. That’s why, if you want to avoid disappointment, you should learn about all the drawbacks of wind energy before you decide to install a wind turbine.

1. Expensive Installation

Although wind turbines are cheap to maintain and run, their installation may come at a price. In addition, bear in mind that it will take at least 10 years before the wind energy generator will pay its way.

2. Dangerous to Some Animals

The danger to birds and bats is certainly one of the biggest disadvantages of wind power. And, unluckily, right now there is no way to overcome this problem. According to the words of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, every year wind turbines kill from 10,000 to 440,000 birds. Nevertheless, this is not only the problem of the wind energy industry. For example, due to the collision with high buildings, more than 950 million birds die annually.

Windmill hits the bird

3. Noise Pollution

You’ll definitely face this drawback in case you live near the wind farms. Take into consideration that these constructions make a sound that is near 60dB. In case, you are going to install a wind turbine in a residential area, you should be ready that your neighbors may complain about it. Probably, this is the main reason why wind energy is bad choice if you live in a densely populated region. Also, if you set up it in a remote area, you’ll need to divert extra money to build transmission lines.

Noise pollution test of wind generators

4. Not Suitable for All Locations

Wind energy generators may exploit their potential, only if they’re installed in the places where wind can reach high speed. Besides, such towns as Tonawanda have even implemented laws to prohibit the installation of large wind turbines near their borders. 

5. Variable Source of Energy

Finally, the biggest problems with wind energy include its unreliability. Wind turbines generate electricity only when the wind blows. The consumers of such type of green energy may suffer from possible disruptions caused by the low speed of the wind. At the same time, such variability makes it impossible to predict the precise amount of electricity that the wind turbine will produce.

Fake Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Although there are both advantages and disadvantages of wind energy, some people fabricate myths about various drawbacks and negative effects. They write a lot of bad things about wind energy and argue against the installation of wind farms. What is more, they spread fake information that is extremely bad for the development of the wind energy industry and may frighten prospective investors.

1. Wind Farms Are Ugly, Unpopular and Have a Negative Effect on Tourism

In fact, people have various opinions on what looks nice and what is ugly. Moreover, there are several studies that prove that a lot of people are like the design of modern wind turbines. They find them an interesting feature of any landscape.

2. Building a Wind Farm Takes More Energy than It Ever Makes

Due to modern technologies and improvements in the wind energy industry, an average wind turbine can pay back the energy used in its manufacturing process in 4 months. Furthermore, such constructions are designed to operate for more than 20 years. And even after the end of their working life, it’s possible to restore the used area without spending a lot of money or energy resources.

3. Wind Farms Harm Property Prices

In 2009 the U.S. government conducted research to discover whether wind farms have an influence on the appraisement of the houses located nearby. The results showed that the price for property located less than 1,5km from wind turbines was the same as for the buildings situated more than 8km away.

Wind Energy FAQ

Of course, it’s impossible to tell about all wind power pros and cons as well as answer all questions related to wind energy. However, in case you want to expand your knowledge and find out new interesting facts, you definitely should get acquainted with the information provided by this FAQ.

1. So what are the disadvantages of wind energy?

As it has been mentioned above, the main disadvantaged of wind energy include danger to animals, noise pollution, unreliability, and costly installation. But still, there is a chance that the manufacturers of wind turbines will overcome these problems in the nearest future.

2. Can wind energy be stored?

In case the wind farm is designed with batteries, it can store the electricity. This is a great fact for people who want to use the energy generated during the night.

3. Can wind energy be used in cars?

Right now, there are several prototypes of the cars powered by wind including Formula Zero developed by Mercedes and Lotus Nemesis. Additionally, in 2008 a group of German students managed to create wonderful Ventomobile. That’s why there is a chance that soon we will see the wind-powered cars in the market.

Conclusion

As you can see there are different wind energy advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, it’s great that scientists and engineers try to implement better technologies and create 100% eco-friendly and safe wind turbines. There is a high chance that all negatives of wind energy will be removed with the help of better manufacturing processes, new designs, etc.

Remember that the purchase of wind turbines is a sure way to support the manufacturers and encourage them to make new improvements. In addition, it’s a great chance to get a wonderful green energy source and save your money.

Environmental consultant

Kate is an environmental consultant specializing on green technologies and nature preservation techniques. She has more than 3 years of experience and worked with several non-profit organizations to save our nature from disruptive influence of people.

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