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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

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

 Outlined below are the top 10 advantages and disadvantages of wind energy.

Top 10 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 the earth.
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.

Top 10 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 urban centers.
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 power plants.
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.