Over one-third of all the electricity that we produced last year came from renewable energy sources. One of the biggest and fastest-growing renewable energy resources is wind.
The growing population of renewable energy is definitely good news, but it can also be confusing at times. For instance, wind energy is just one of several types of sustainable energy. Why is it so popular?
There are many reasons that we’ve flocked to wind energy rather than other sources. We’ll talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy in this article, as well as why you should consider it.
Pros of Wind Energy
While it might seem odd the hype behind wind energy is warranted. Wind energy can be a very practical energy system, especially when it’s used on a large scale. It has several advantages to offer.
The great thing about wind energy is that it’s cost-effective. Unlike oil or coal, the wind is unlimited, and it occurs all over the world. Nobody can own it, so it’s free to use.
However, it’s not just the wind itself that’s affordable, because the cost of producing wind energy is only a few cents per Kilowatt-hour. A Kilowatt-hour is a unit for measuring power consumption that measures the cost of generating 1,000 Watts per hour. It’s roughly the amount of energy you’d need to run a microwave for an hour.
Oil, on the other hand, costs over $3 per kWh. That’s just the monetary cost of using oil, which brings us to another point.
Wind is Clean
The threat of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions has been looming for over a century now, and governments are taking serious measures to curtail it. Though we’re making some progress, the answer most likely lies in renewable energy resources such as wind.
The wind is a clean energy source, meaning that the production and use of wind energy don’t produce greenhouse gases. Making a wind turbine creates a few greenhouse gases, but it’s a big net gain overall.
Once the turbine is in place, it uses a windmill-like system where the blades are pushed by the wind. The blades attach to a rotor, which is, in turn, attached to a motor. As this system moves, the movement creates kinetic energy, which is then converted into electricity.
Made in the USA
While wind energy isn’t exclusively made in the US, it can be produced anywhere, which makes it a great alternative to oil. Producing energy at home would not only reduce the cost of buying oil but also shipping it.
There are also political issues to consider. The current situation in Ukraine is a great example of this. Russia used to be one of our trading partners who sent us crude oil, but that deal was canceled in response to the war in Ukraine.
As a result, fuel prices have gone up, and the US is now relying on other means of getting fuel. While domestic energy production wouldn’t guarantee fuel stability, it certainly helps. The fewer factors involved in the process, the lower the risk.
Cons of Wind Energy
If wind energy is so great, why is it taking so long to catch on? The reason is that wind energy, like everything else, comes with its own set of flaws, and while they might seem trivial compared to the big picture, they can be very taxing in the moment.
This is less of an issue on the consumer level, but it still affects buyers. With fewer wind farms in the country, getting wind power is going to be a bit harder, especially since wind energy is usually generated in rural areas where there are few obstacles to disrupt the wind.
The good news is that it’s not impossible to get wind energy. In the US, the biggest source of wind energy is Texas, which produces roughly one-third of the country’s wind energy.
Wind farms tend to be loud, which makes living near one a bit difficult. Some others find them unsightly, which further complicates things. Technology is advancing and the noise issue should eventually go away, but finding places to put wind farms might be tough in the meantime.
This is especially true since wind farms are built on farmlands that could be used for other, more profitable purposes. Farms also tend to be quieter than cities, so the noise would stand out.
Threat to Wildlife
The threat posed by wind turbines is nowhere near as big as that of fossil fuels, and there have been incidents of flying animals crashing into them and dying. Scientists are working to prevent that.
Even so, having an animal fly into a turbine every now and then is nowhere near the level of damage that fossil fuels have done and continue to do.
Costly at First
Wind energy is a great way to save money in the long run, but buying and setting up the turbines can be costly. Long-term investments can be amazing, but some of us don’t have the income to plan very far ahead. It’s possible that the price decreases over time, but that’s not much comfort now.
It’s not just the turbines, either. For each tower we see on land, there are wires underground that transport the energy to where it’s needed.
Energy Resources: Wind
Many of the energy resources on Earth are shrinking, and renewable energy will likely replace them. One of the most popular types of renewable energy is wind power.
We’ve gone over the facts about wind power and maybe got you thinking about switching to wind power. If you are, we at Chariot Energy are happy to help. We offer some great electricity plans and will answer any questions you have and dispel any myths you may have heard about renewable energy.