Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy – pros and cons of wind energy

This Post is about “Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy ” -” pros and cons of wind energy”

wind mill advantages and disadvantages
wind mill advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of Wind Energy

Wind energy has numerous benefits in helping to provide a source of clean and renewable electricity for countries all over the world. This section takes a look at the many different advantages of wind energy.

1.  Safe and clean source of energy.

The biggest benefit of wind energy is that it generates electricity while not releasing any harmful pollutants or greenhouse gases as byproducts. This makes it a safe and clean source of energy.

2. Wind energy is cost competitive with other fuel sources.
The average levelized price of wind power purchase agreements signed in 2013 was approximately 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, a price that is not only cost competitive with new gas-fired power plants but also compares favorably to a range of fuel cost projections of gas-fired generation extending out through 2040.1 Public and private research and development (R&D) can provide continued technological advancements and further reduce wind energy costs

3. Environmentally Friendly
Wind energy is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources available today. After the manufacture and installation of wind turbines, there will be little to no pollution generated as a result of the wind turbines themselves.

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) which are both known to contribute towards global warming.

It should be noted that noise and visual pollution are both environmental factors, but they don’t have a negative effect on the earth, water table or the quality of the air we breathe.

4.Wind energy can provide income for farmers and ranchers, as well as economic benefits to communities.
Wind projects provide revenue to the communities in which they are located via lease payments to landowners, state and local tax revenues, and employment. Even a utility-scale wind turbine has a small footprint, enabling farmers and ranchers who lease their land to developers to continue growing crops and grazing livestock. As wind energy systems continue to expand, they provide significant economic benefits. A recent study found that, on average, wind power installations within the study area and occurring between 2000 and 2008 resulted in an increase in total county-level personal income of approximately $11,000 per megawatt

5.Wind Energy is Free
Unlike some other energy sources, wind energy is completely free. There’s no market for the supply and demand of wind energy, it’s there to be used by anyone and will never run out. This makes wind energy a viable option for generating cheap electricity.

6.Wind energy is an inexhaustible renewable energy source.
Wind energy is plentiful and readily available, and capturing its power does not deplete our natural resources. Improved technologies and taller turbines allow wind deployment in areas with lower wind speeds, such as in the southeastern United States. In addition, offshore wind has tremendous energy potential.

7. Wind turbines do not consume water.
Most electric power plants require water to operate, but producing electricity from the wind does not require water. Researchers estimate that wind power generation in 2013 reduced powersector water consumption by 36.5 billion gallons.

8. Wind energy systems have low operating costs.
Wind energy systems have low operating expenses because there are no associated fuel costs. When large amounts of wind energy are added to the grid, additional generation may be required to accommodate wind energy’s variability, but leading experts in the field concluded that system operating cost increases from wind variability and uncertainty amounted to only about 10% or less of the wholesale value of the wind energy and that there are ways to reduce these costs.The absence of fuel cost also protects consumers from fluctuating coal and natural gas costs.

9. Wind energy creates jobs.
Wind energy development creates thousands of long-term, high-paying jobs in fields such as wind turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation, maintenance and operations, legal and marketing services, transportation and logistical services, and more.

10. Huge Potential
Wind energy has huge potential. It’s both renewable and sustainable and is present in a wide variety of places. Although a significant level of wind energy is required to make a wind turbine installation cost effective, the technology isn’t limited to just a handful of locations such as is the case for geothermal power stations.

11. Wind energy can be used in a variety of applications.
Wind turbines can be used in a variety of applications. Utility scale wind farms can provide electricity to an entire community while smaller turbines, often described as being used in “distributed applications,” can be installed at or near a site where the electricity will be used. Community wind projects include turbines for schools, tribes, municipal utilities, and rural electric cooperatives. Small wind turbines, alone or as part of a hybrid system, can power homes, businesses, farms, ranches, and schools. Wind energy can be perfect for remote applications such as water pumping, ice making, and telecommunications sites, and can displace diesel fuel in remote communities.

Disadvantages of Wind Energy- Cons of Wind Energy:

So, we’ve seen the advantages, now it’s time to take a look at the main disadvantages of wind energy.

1. Unpredictable-Wind does not always remain consistent. 
Wind is unpredictable and the availability of wind energy is not constant. Wind energy is therefore not well suited as a base load energy source. If we had cost-effective ways of storing wind energy the situation would be different.

We can hope for breakthroughs in energy storage technologies in the future, but right now, wind turbines have to be used in tandem with other energy sources to meet our energy demand with consistency.

2. Wildlife:

Wind turbines may be dangerous to flying animals. Many birds and bats have been killed by flying into the rotors. Experts are now conducting research to learn more about the effects that wind turbines have on marine habitats.

3. Noise Pollution 
Noise is a problem for some people that live in the proximity of wind turbines. Building wind turbines in urban environments should be avoided. Noise is not a problem with offshore wind turbines at all. New designs show significant improvements compared to older models and generate less noise.

4. Suitable to Certain Locations
Wind energy can only be harnessed at certain locations where speed of wind is high. Since they are mostly setup in remote areas, transmission lines have to be built to bring the power to the residential homes in the city which requires extra investment to set up the infrastructure.

5.Storage Issues:

Going along with the point of turbines being inefficient, they are unable to store converted energy in large amounts. Being that wind only comes in fits and starts, in order to be efficient, the turbines would need to store up these bursts of wind energy to be truly effective, but because they can’t, they are not as efficient as they may seem to be.

6. Installation Costs:

As you can imagine, installing a group of these huge turbines can cost a lot of money. Installing just one of them can be as pricey as $2 million or more, with more costs coming for maintenance. Another cost in installing a turbine is less a monetary issue as it is an environmental one. The production, transport, and installation of one these turbines has a sizable “carbon footprint”, which is important to know, especially considering that the whole idea behind its construction is for clean power.

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