Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

The advantages and disadvantages of wind energy refers to the benefits and drawbacks in using the wind as a source of energy production for human beings. 

Wind energy receives this name because it comes from the wind, and works based on the laws of aerodynamics : wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy.

Among the applications that the human being has given to the wind as a source of energy we have:

  • The navegation,
  • Food processing food,
  • Alter watercourses and irrigation.
Wind power Advantage Disadvantages
For society
  • Applicable to small or large scale
  • economic interest
  • Technological development
  • Low maintenance
  • Requires storage systems
  • Annoying noises
  • Effects on human health
  • aesthetic disturbance
  • technological challenges
For the environment
  • alternative energy source
  • renewable energy source
  • Non-polluting
  • Environmental impact
  • susceptible to damage
for the planet
  • Affordable in remote places
  • remote installations
  • weather unpredictability
  • Huge tracts of land

Advantages of Wind Energy

Here are some of the benefits and advantages of using the wind as a power generator.

Alternative Energy Source

Along with solar and hydroelectric power, wind is one of the alternative energy sources to the use of fossil fuels. 

In fact, the wind has been used by human beings for more than 5,000 years as an energy source to produce jobs. Although interest in wind energy seems very recent, as early as 1890 electricity began to be generated from the wind.

Renewable energy source

Wind is available everywhere on Earth throughout the year. It is not unreasonable to say that the world’s wind currents are inexhaustible.

Applicable to Small and Large Scale

technological advances in the construction of wind turbines and generators, it is now possible to make use of wind energy in large cities or by individual initiative.

The cost of generating wind power has been falling for three decades, and more and more countries are interested in investing in the construction of wind farms. 

In 2010, the wind power generation capacity worldwide was 197,000 megawatts, while in 2018 it rose to 597,000 megawatts, an increase of 300%.

Wind is the cheapest form of alternative energy, compared to solar and hydroelectric power. Wind power plants can start generating power with a few turbines, which can be increased over time.

Affordable in Remote Places

It is possible to use wind energy to generate electricity in:

  • isolated villages in developing countries;
  • on telecommunications towers, and
  • homes outside the public power grid, in fields and forests.

Disadvantages of Wind Power

 Environmental Impact

Large wind turbines kill birds, bats, and insects. A study conducted at 64 wind farms in Canada in 2016 estimated that more than 47,000 bats die per year from collision with the blades.

Especially, the problem is aggravated when the turbines are located in migratory corridors, as it happens in areas of Spain.

Weather Unpredictability

Like solar energy, wind also depends on the forces of nature. It varies in intensity, speed and direction.

Huge Tracts of Land

Wind farms need large tracts of land: the turbines cannot be placed close to each other, as the wind is modified as it passes through them. Fortunately, the space below the turbines can be used for agriculture, unlike solar panel hubs.

Systems can be Damaged

Towers and turbines can be damaged in extreme weather conditions, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and ice storms.

Requires Storage Systems

Wind power is produced when the wind blows; thus, it is necessary to store energy in batteries to be able to have electricity when there is no wind. Batteries are expensive and contain toxic materials, which represent an ecological problem.

At the rate of energy consumption of modern civilization, it would not be possible to rely 100% on wind energy for the supply of electricity.

Annoying Noises

The movement of the turbine blades causes sounds that can be uncomfortable for the residents in the vicinity of the towers. 

Additionally, the turbines can produce low frequency sounds (20-200 hertz) from an exposure of 20 dB. This means that the noise is practically inaudible, unless you are very close to the tower.

Effects on Human Health

Exposure to wind turbines could be linked to sleep problems, tinnitus, and vertigo. However, aversion to nearby turbines can lead certain individuals to psychosomatic problems rather than direct biological problems.

Related Topics :

  • Types of energy
  • Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy
  • The types of renewable energies

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