Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
As climate change is the topic of major concern, more nations are putting its resources in alternative and sustainable energy sources to meet the demand of the population. Wind energy, that most people do not know is that it is a type of renewable energy. It uses kinetic energy and it is the quickest developing renewable energy on the planet at the present time. A nation like the USA is intending to produce 20 percent of its electricity by wind energy by 2030.
There are various research efforts that expected to discover drawbacks as well as the benefits of wind energy. Like every renewable source of energy, it has its own upsides and downsides and it might work better in a certain part of the world and circumstances than the other. So it is better to find out about the conceivable outcomes that exist in your nation.
Advantages of Wind Energy
As it is a very good source of clean energy, there are a good number of advantages of wind energy. Some of those advantages of wind energy are discussed below in this article.
It is a clean source of energy as it doesn’t contribute to producing Carbon Dioxide (Co2) and Methane ( CH4 ) that are known to add to climate change. It is a clean source of energy that we can depend on for the long haul future.
2. Renewable Source of Energy
The wind is native energy. It occurs naturally and harvests kinetic energy. Regardless of whether wind turbines are there to turn their sharp edges or not, winds are going to blow anyway. So the energy produced can be harnessed and it will never run out. This way, Earth’s fossil fuel is also reserved up to some extent.
3. Cost Friendly
Wind energy is known for being one of the lowest prices of renewable energy is available today. First of all, the wind is free. You do not have to import it as a raw material from anywhere. The only cost will be on its installation and maintenance but it is cheaper to build operate wind farms than to buy fossil fuels.
In many parts of the world, the government is trying new initiative, they are also providing government subsidies which are helping to reduce the cost of wind energy.
Wind energy is incredibly space-efficient. The largest wind turbines are capable of catering to the electricity needs of about 600 homes situated close together and the land in between can also be utilized for agricultural purposes.
5. Reduced Dependency on Fossil Fuels
We all know through reports that fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are limited and there is a high need for it to be reserved. If wind energy is used for generating electricity, it reduces the need to burn fossil fuels which are a huge contribution towards conserving earth’s natural resources.
6. Source of Employment
According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 1.15 million people worldwide employed in the wind energy industry. China, Germany, and the USA respectively became the top three countries providing jobs through the wind energy industry.
According to the Wind Vision Report, the wind industry has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and benefiting services by 2050.
7. Blessing to Remote Location
Maybe the main electricity supply cannot reach remote locations but maybe the wind can. Sometimes, it may be costly and impractical for the government to supply traditional electricity so in such cases, wind turbines can be a blessing.
8. Domestic Ability
The incredible thing about wind energy can be that a home can generate its own electricity. When the world might be depending on fossil fuels for their electricity, you might be generating your own wind energy.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy
Though there are many benefits of using Wind Energy as the source of clean energy, there are few disadvantages of wind energy.
1. Fluctuation of Wind
Like solar energy, wind energy also lags behind for the fact that it is unpredictable and not constant. It is sustainable and will never run out but the speed is not the same always which might add up to the inefficiency of wind turbines. So it is important for developers to do enough research to pinpoint the best location.
2. Threat to Birds
The sharp blades of the wind turbine are contributing to the mortality rates of birds. According to a study conducted in the USA, it is estimated that 140,000 to 328,000 deaths of birds per year are because of wind energy towers and turbines collision. This has become a matter of serious issue to some environmentalists.
3. Noise Pollution
Wind turbines are likely to make a sound that can be between 50 and 60 decibels. It can be extremely unpleasant if you decide to put it next to your home. You need to get yourself ready for your neighbour’s complaints but probably, you will be annoyed before anyone else.
4. Visual Landscape Disturbance
This issue might look very small but many people are found to be complaining because they see wind turbines are unappealing structures and that they are hindering the beauty of natural landscapes.
5. Take Away of Fertile Lands
More often, the most fertile land where farming is practised is considered to be the best location for the installation of the wind turbine. So the opportunity cost of installing a wind turbine on fertile land could be various agricultural activities that could be conducted on that land.
6. Installation Cost
The initial cost of installing wind turbines might be high because of a demanding survey that might have to be conducted before determining where could be the best place to fit the wind turbine. Also, a wind turbine might have to be fitted just to check whether the location is best suited or not which adds up to the cost.
Sometimes, storms, tornadoes, high winds can be the reason to cause damage to the blades of wind turbines. Those blades might even fall off which can be a major danger to someone nearby as there is a possibility of those sharp blades to fall on people which might lead to serious injury or even death.
Despite several drawbacks, the future of wind energy looks exciting and promising. It is that alternative that nations might choose as nations are trying to be environmental-friendly on whatever resources they decide to put further on any step.