Wind energy refers to the use of wind for generating mechanical power. Mechanical power gets generated through the wind turbines and turns electric generators for electrical power. Wind energy is one of the sustainable sources of energy that can get the renewed time and again. Wind energy contributes less amount of environmental impact compared to other energy sources like fossil fuels.
The wind energy plant is also known as wind farms. There are hundreds of wind turbines in the wind farm connected to the electric power transmission network. Wind energy cannot get dispatched on demand, which means they are an intermittent source of energy. It gives variable power consisting of year to year that may vary over a short time frame.
The wind has become one of the fast-growing sources of energy.
However, let’s delve into some advantages and downsides of wind energy associated with the environment and our everyday lives.
Advantages of Wind Energy
1. Renewable Source
Wind energy is known to be a renewable and clean source of energy. Unlike other energy sources like coal, gas, fossil fuels, oils, the generation of electricity with the help of wind energy is one of the safest methods. It doesn’t emit a high amount of greenhouse gases that troubles the environment.
The construction of wind power plants is easy to operate and doesn’t prompt environmental compromisations. We don’t need to burn fossil fuels that cause surrounding degradation function wind turbines. Wind energy never gets run out and is always present in abundance. Hence, we don’t need to worry about the supply issues regarding wind energy.
For the construction of the wind power plants, we need lots of land space. However, for the operation of turbines, small’s spaces can get used. We don’t need to invest in large real estate properties for the construction wind power plant.
Land used for wind turbines can also get used for other multi-purposes like farming, plantations, etc. In contrast to the solar panels, the wind power plant is space-efficient. On average, one large wind turbine can generate electricity up to power 600. It signifies a single wind turbine can generate electricity that hundreds of solar panels can.
3. Wind Energy is Free
Compared to other sources of energy, wind energy is free to use. People use wind energy in their everyday lives. They use the wind for different purposes like boat sailing, windsurfing. Most of the utility companies use it for wheeling off the turbine. Wind turbines are present on both offshore and onshore farms.
There are almost millions of wind turbines operating and generating electricity for utility consumption. According to the fact of 2019, wind energy supplies 15% of electricity in Europe. Almost 341,000 wind turbines are operating in the world.
Apart from that, pilots and other aircraft operators use wind energy and work based on the wind’s direction. Most of the sailor needs to use wind energy to sail their boat. Wind energy is also valuable for cargo business.
4. It is a Domestic Source of Energy
As we know, the wind is available everywhere on this earth. It is one of the domestic sources of energy. The supply is abundant and inexhaustible. In the U.S, over the past ten years, wind energy power is growing by 15%. It is known as the largest renewable source of energy in the United States.
It is sustainable and is actually in the form of solar energy. The reason behind the cause of wind is overheating of the earth’s atmosphere through the sun. As long as the sun remains shining, the wind always tends to blow to balance the earth’s atmosphere.
5. Creates Employment
The construction of wind power plants creates thousands of employment opportunities for people around the world. More than 100,000 workers have gotten jobs or employment in the wind power plant sector in the U.S only.
Wind turbine technicians are one of the fastest-growing jobs in America. The wind energy sector supports about 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, maintenance, installation, and supporting services. Hence, it creates local jobs and contributes to economic development benefits.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy
Despite knowing the advantages of Wind Energy, there are still some challenges or disadvantages faced or experienced. Now, let us dive into some cons of wind energy.
1. Noisy Turbines
One of the vital problems seen in wind energy power plants is the noise of wind turbines. It can create noise pollution for the locals residing nearby. It can also have some visual impacts on the landscape of the wind power plant. However, it doesn’t create a severe impact on the environment like other sources of energy.
2. Severe Impact on the Wildlife
Most of the wind power plants get constructed in the countryside area. It is home to wild animals and birds. The extremely high rotation of wind turbines can prompt to severe destruction of wildlife birds. Comparing with most cases related to wind turbines, it has killed thousands of birds that come near to it.
Bats and other flying creatures have gotten killed by the blades of the wind turbine. However, improvisation and research are going on to mitigate such issues. Some of these problems have got resolved through technology and the implementation of properly siting wind plants.
3. Wind Farms May Not be Profitable
Wind farms get constructed in some windy places that are far from urban areas. Electricity generation through wind turbines is feasible. However, its transmission from the countryside to urban areas can be a cumbersome process. It might increase your costs as well. The land used for wind farms would be more profitable if it gets used for various other purposes.
4. It is an Intermittent Source of Energy
The efficiency of generating wind energy depends upon the weather conditions as well. Depending upon the weather conditions, it is hard to estimate how much electricity wind turbines generate over time. If the wind speed is low on some days, then the wind turbines fail to rotate. Hence, it means wind energy is not always available to generate electricity when needed.(Last Updated On: June 6, 2021)