Wind power is a renewable energy source that is harnessed by way of wind turbines. To utilize the power of the wind, it is harnessed to either rotate the turbines that produce electricity, or simply to produce mechanical energy that pumps water from boreholes. Sometimes wind power is used to sail ships or dhows to offer transport. Based on records, wind power is the world’s second most vital renewable energy source after hydroelectric power. Since the onset of the 21st century, the installed capacity of wind power has greatly grown.
Technological advancement in the manufacture of wind turbines used in the generation of electricity has enabled more and more countries to tap into this limitless renewable source of energy. The installed capacity of wind power for electricity generation has greatly shot up and this has led to the increased delivery of power into the national grid systems of many countries.
The advantages and disadvantages of utilizing wind energy can be found here:
Wind energy as a clean source of renewable energy
The aim of combating global warming is a subject that has been on many people’s minds over the past decades. While there are various sources of energy such as fossil fuels, geothermal energy, etc. Most of them usually come with disadvantages. Fossil fuel, for instance, is blamed for contributing to a very large percentage of carbon dioxide emission on the environment. When there is a lot of carbon dioxide emission, there is too much carbon that is released into the Earth’s atmosphere which causes global warming. The effects of global warming are negative to the environment and therefore needs to be controlled.
The best way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment is, of course, turning to green energy sources such as solar energy or wind power. Wind energy is an alternative source of energy that is now proving as a not only a viable energy source, but also an affordable and sustainable energy source. Furthermore, wind power is renewable and green in the sense that it doesn’t generate any greenhouse gases. Fortunately, the use of wind power is sharply growing in many countries – check the International Renewal Energy Agency (IRENA) to find out more about the statistics for the year 2018.
Are there any advantages of using wind power as a source of energy?
Well, there are various benefits that the world stands to gain from using wind power as an alternative source of energy. Let us now take a detailed look into some of those benefits below:
- Wind power doesn’t emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
- It is a renewable source of energy. It doesn’t get depleted like coal or oil.
- It makes it easy for countries to become energy dependent. In the case of fossil fuels, countries that lack oil usually have to rely on oil producing countries to supply them with oil.
- It is a cost-effective source of energy. The initial cost of investing in the wind turbines and their installation is all that is needed and once operation starts there is non-stop supply of energy as long as there is the wind needed to rotate the turbines.
- Wind power can be utilized practically by any country that invests in wind turbines.
The main advantage of wind energy is that it is a clean source of energy. Unlike fossil fuels which usually cause air pollution, wind energy doesn’t cause any pollution of the air. If you inquire further, you will realize that wind energy production also doesn’t require the use of any chemicals. For this, wind energy can effectively be used to reduce the world’s reliance on coal or oil. This greatly helps to reduce the pollution of the environment that is often caused by using oil or coal.
Possible disadvantages of wind energy
Many proponents of wind energy usually highlight many of its advantages as much as possible. However, there are also a number of disadvantages associated with the wind as an energy source. Here we are going to list the disadvantages of wind energy:
- Initial building and installation of the wind turbines is expensive.
- When there is low wind not sufficient energy is produced.
- Wind energy can’t be stored easily.
- It is limited just in certain geographical areas where there is consistent wind.
- It carries with it the risk of lightning strikes and also a source of risk to birds that may get killed by the turning blades of the turbines.
- It causes visual and noise pollution especially in areas of high population density.
- Mostly the turbines are placed in very remote areas.
The most obvious disadvantage of wind energy is that it is not reliable because wind is not usually available all the time. But even when there is wind, sometimes it may not be sufficient enough to be able to turn the turbines to produce the required electrical or mechanical energy that is needed.
Wind can sometimes be destructive to the turbines that have been installed to generate energy. Apart from this, it has also been established that wind turbines can also be hit by lightning strikes. This can cause extensive damage to the wind turbines which are usually so expensive to install.
Lastly, the other serious shortcoming of wind turbines that are used for generating energy is the possibility of visual and noise pollution. Wind turbines produce noise when they are in operation. Also, the visual discomfort that the turbines cause to people who look at them can’t be ignored. In addition, there is also the risk of birds and other flying animals that may get killed by the sharp moving blades of the wind turbines.
Wind power offers a green energy solution that is needed to help reduce over reliance on fossil fuels and other sources of energy that cause global warming. The fact that wind energy is a renewable source of energy makes it a good option as a green energy source that could serve as an alternative energy source for the future. It is fortunate that many countries are now turning to wind energy to supplement their important energy needs.