Advantages and Disadvantages of
Wind Energy Reviewed
The advantages and disadvantages of wind energy is a topic that
many who are considering renewable energy generation want to know
about. Outlined below are the top 10 advantages and disadvantages
of wind energy.
Wind Energy Advantages
1. Wind energy is nothing new. It's a well-known method of using
kinetic energy (wind) to produce mechanical energy and has been
around for thousands of years since the Persians and later Romans
were using windmills to draw water and grind grain.
2. Wind energy is a renewable resource meaning that the Earth will
continue to provide this and it's up to people to use it and harness
it to best advantage.
3. Wind energy is cheap and is largely dependent upon the manufacturing,
distribution and building of turbines for the initial costs. The
U. S. DOE estimates wind energy can be produced for as low as 4
to 6 cents per kilowatt hour.
4. Wind energy replaces electricity from coal-fired power plants
and thus reduces greenhouse gases that produce global warming.
5. Wind energy is available worldwide and though some countries
may be "windier" than others, the product is not like
oil that has to be transported on tankers to the far regions of
6. Wind farms on average have a smaller footprint than coal-fired
power plants and even though some people don't like the appearance
to wind turbines, they object more to having a coal-fired power
plant in their backyards.
7. Wind turbines can also share space with other interests such
as the farming of crops or cattle.
8. Wind energy is available in many remote locations where the electrical
grid doesn't reach. Farms, mountain areas and third world nations
can take advantage of wind energy.
9. Wind energy is creating jobs that are far outpacing other sectors
of the economy.
10. Wind energy doesn't have to be used solely on a commercial scale
as residential wind turbines are now gaining ground in many communities.
Wind Energy Disadvantages
1. Wind is an intermittent source of energy and when connected
to the electrical grid provides an uneven power supply. Some places
such as the Gulf Coast region of the U. S. have too strong of winds
during hurricane season that may damage wind turbines.
2. Some people object to the visual site of wind turbines disrupting
the local landscape.
3. The wind doesn't blow well at all locations on Earth. Wind maps
are needed to identify the optimal locations.
4. The initial cost of a wind turbine can be substantial, though
government subsidies, tax breaks and long-term costs may alleviate
much of this.
5. Transmission of electricity from remote wind farms can be a major
hurdle for utilities since many time turbines are not located around
6. The storage of excess energy from wind turbines in the form of
batteries, hydrogen or other forms still needs research and development
to become commercially viable.
7. Some environmentalists have complained that large utility wind
turbines have a detrimental effect to migratory bird flight paths.
8. Depending upon the type of wind turbine, noise pollution may
be a factor for those living or working nearby.
9. Even though costs of wind energy have come down dramatically
it still has to compete with the ultra low price for fossil fuel
10. Utility scale wind turbines can interfere with television signals
of those living within a mile or two of the installation, which
can be frustrating for homeowners.
These are the top 10 advantages and top 10 disadvantages of wind
energy. Make up your own mind whether the advantages outweigh the
disadvantages for your household and your community.