A source of energy can be described as a system from which electricity can be extracted or generated. There are a number of sources of energy, each with its characteristic advantages and disadvantages. Among the many energy sources is power generated from turbines tuned by wind. Wind energy is classified as a renewable source of energy since it can be considered to be unlimited. This paper is an exploration of the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy.
Wind power can be credited for its production of clean energy. Therefore, unlike some other sources of energy, wind energy does not pollute the environment. The turbines that are used for generation of wind power do not produce any emissions to the atmosphere.
In some of the other sources of energy, emissions are produced which cause greenhouse effects and global warming, and acid rain. This is normally the case with natural gas or coal-powered plants. Another advantage is the fact that wind energy depends on the power of wind, which is renewable. Wind can actually be viewed as an indirect form of solar energy.
This comes from the fact that heating is the main source of wind-current creation. It is also important to note that wind energy can be regarded as a domestic source of energy. This is because its users can be able to produce it in their backyards, provided their homes are strategically located (Williamson, 2010). This is a common occurrence in the United States. Also advantageous is the fact that wind supply in the United States is abundant, and thus generation of power using wind produces substantial volumes of power.
Also among the numerous advantages of wind power is the fact that wind energy is regarded as being among the renewable energy sources that have the lowest cost implications. The average cost of generating power using wind has been proved to be from 4 cents to 6 cents for every unit (kilowatt-hour) of power produced.
This, of course, depends on the availability of wind in the location of the project under review, and the intricacies of financing a particular project. Another advantage is the fact that most of the turbines that are used in the generation of wind power are located in ranches, and on farms. This is a very beneficial aspect since farms and ranches are located in rural areas, and locating turbines in these areas potentially uplifts the economy of these areas.
Also advantageous is the fact that after wind turbines are installed in these farms and ranches, the land can be used for other economic activities since the turbines occupy limited space (Ryan, 2009). Plant owners also benefit the land owners by paying rent for their use of the land in which plants are located.
Additionally, access to the energy provided by wind is free. This implies that anyone capable of accessing a turbine can be able to generate energy by the use of wind power without further charges. The harnessing of the wind can also be done efficiently.
Also advantageous is the fact that a number of people are thrilled by the mere sight of wind turbines, and thus the turbines can be used as a landscape feature for other commercial purposes like tourism. It is also worth mentioning that both the developing and developed countries are aided in filling their energy gaps by wind energy.
The turbines used to generate wind energy also come in various sizes, and thus they can be utilized by a variety of users, ranging from corporations to individuals (D’Silva, 2010). The advantages of wind energy are inexhaustible. Let us now have a look at the negative aspects of wind energy.
There are a number of disadvantages that can be associated with wind energy. Firstly, wind energy competes with the conventional sources of power in terms of cost. The competitiveness of a wind plant generating power is highly dependent on the energy of the wind site.
Thus wind sites in which the wind is not so energetic may be more expensive than the conventional means of power generation. This is in spite of the fact that costs associated with wind power have dramatically reduced in the last decade. However, wind energy is known to have a higher initial investment as compared to the use of fossil-fuelled generators.
Also disadvantageous is the fact that the turbines used to generate wind power are mostly located in rural areas. This is because these areas are far away from the towns and cities, in which the power is greatly needed. Thus in cases where cities use wind energy generated in rural areas, transmission is necessary.
This adds to the costs associated with the wind energy. In some areas, benefits of the development of the wind resource and the use of turbines to achieve this goal may be beaten by other forms of land use. This is because the alternative uses of the land may have more returns than the generation of electricity. Despite the fact that the generation of wind power has comparatively less impact on the environment, it also has its shortfalls.
Investors in wind energy have, and other stakeholders, have been increasingly worried about the noise pollution characteristic with the generation of wind energy, the visual effects that can be associated with the rotating blades, the occasional killing of birds by the blades, etc. This is in spite of the fact that some of these problems have already been solved or reduced by the use of technologically improved plants.
It is also argued that wind energy generation also contributes to environmental pollution, and consequently global warming as the turbines are manufactured. Also disadvantageous is the fact that, in order to provide sufficient amounts of power for communities, large wind farms are required (D’Silva, 2010).
The wind is also not constant, and therefore, generation of power using wind is not as predictable as its conventional counterparts. It should, in fact, be noted that there could be times when a wind plant does not produce any power.
As evidenced in the discussion above, most of the aspects of wind energy are counterproductive. For instance, the location of most of the plants for wind generation in rural areas is an avenue for betterment of the economic status of the people living there. At the same time, this aspect of wind energy may lead to more cost being incurred due to transmission to cities which may need the power more than the local people. In a nutshell, wind energy can be considered to have more benefits than challenges, and thus it is advisable that more wind plants are used in the generation of electricity.
D’Silva, R. (2010). Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy. Retrieved from https://helpsavenature.com/advantages-disadvantages-wind-energy
Ryan, V. (2009). Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power. Retrieved from http://www.technologystudent.com/energy1/wind8.htm
Williamson, R. (2010). Home Wind Energy: Advantages and Disadvantages. Web.