Wind Power: It Has Its Advantages And Disadvantages

By   January 6, 2017

There isn’t anything new about using the wind for power. For centuries that was how water was pumped from wells by our ancestors. It saved them from endless hours of work that was literally back breaking. But one of the biggest pluses to using wind energy is that is free. And like anything you may use, wind power has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both sides:

The Advantages

Clean Fuel Source: Wind energy is fueled by the wind, whereas power plants rely on coal and/or natural gas combustion, which generates pollution. Turbines do not produce atmospheric emissions that can cause acid rain.

Wind Is Abundant: There is an endless supply of abundant wind supply.

Wind Energy Is Endless: Because the wind is abundant and never ending, it cannot be used up. When the Earth rotates, it causes wind because of the irregularities of the Earth’s surface and the sun heats up the atmosphere. So in one way, wind is somewhat a form of solar energy.

Wind Energy Is Cheap: Wind energy is an inexpensive renewable energy source. For each kilowatt-hour that wind energy produces costs approximately 4 to 6 cents, depending upon the financing and the source.

Wind Turbines Provide Benefits: Rural areas benefit from wind turbines being built. The farms and ranches where the majority of wind sites are use just a small fraction of land, thus not affecting farmers and ranchers. They are able to keep working and benefit by receiving rent payment by the owners of the power plant.

The Disadvantages

Competition For Wind Power: Wind power biggest competitor is conventional generation sources because the cost to set up. The expense of setting up a wind power plant has dropped over the past few years. However, depending on how energetic the wind site is, it sometimes is not cost competitive.

It Isn’t Steady: The biggest challenge next to expense is the wind is intermittent, thus it doesn’t always blow when needed. In some cases, wind can be harnessed for future electricity demands, but not always.

Wind Sites Are Remote: A good wind site will usually be found in a remote area, away from the city, where more electricity is needed and used. This cost for transferring the electricity is expensive.

Competition for Land: Where a wind site may be built is in competition for the land with other uses.

Wind Power Plants Noisy: A wind power plant is noisier because of the rotor blades and they aren’t very aesthetic to look at compare to modern day conventional power plants. They are also known to be dangerous for birds because the rotors can kill them.

What is important to remember is that once a wind power plant is established, it can sustain power for a lifetime.  The versatility that wind energy offers makes it an important resource for us.