The earth has been utilizing fossil fuels as its primary source of energy for many years. The only problem with this is that there are a limited amount of resources left. Expending more fossil fuels will lead to severe long-term negative drawbacks. Food shortages and other issues will be more common if fossil fuels run out. This is why an alternative to fossil fuels is desperately needed.
Alternatives include solar energy, wave energy, and wind energy. This article will focus on whether wind energy is suitable as an alternative or not. Assessing the challenges associated with wind energy is just as important as focusing on the benefits. Below are several of these advantages and disadvantages summarised. Before anything else, it is important to know how wind energy is gathered.
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How Wind Energy Works
Wind energy is essentially another form of solar energy. Instead of directly obtaining energy from the sun, wind turbines are used. These turbines use little to no electricity and instead employ the use of wind itself. The energy obtained is variable according to the wind. There are different wind turbines made for both industrial and private use. High-powered wind turbines of course work better than single propeller turbines. These turbines are created in a large quantity and occupy vast amounts of land. Recently the ocean has become a space for these farms as well. Floating platforms are placed and connected via a floating bridge on water for these farms.
Wind energy has several benefits that make it a great choice for a primary energy source. Some of these benefits are summarised below.
1: Clean Energy
Perhaps the biggest benefit of wind energy is that it is clean. Most other renewable energy sources have implications for the environment. Wind turbines do not have significant environmental drawbacks. This makes them more than ideal to generate energy.
There are also no harmful gases released into the atmosphere. In comparison, fossil fuels emit harmful gases after being burned in factories. This means wind energy has no drawbacks to the air as well as the land.
2: Sustainable Energy
The great thing about wind energy is that it is sustainable. The wind is free and can not run out for thousands of years. This makes it a great source of energy as it is inexhaustible. The sun heats the atmosphere which generates wind. Meaning that as long as the sun is around, the wind will be too.
For many governments, producing wind energy farms are cost-effective in the long term. This is because the fuel needed for these farms is wind and it is free. Another great benefit is that wind energy is usually sold at a fixed price. The costs are not variable, unlike other renewable energy sources. Most of the cost incurred is the initial setup cost of wind farms.
4: Better Green Economy
The construction of wind farms involves lots of time and effort. This also means that new jobs are created for the country. The investment is sure to add to the country’s economy as well. Highly certified technicians are needed for the production and maintenance of wind turbines. Constructing more of these farms will lead to even more job creation in the future.
The problems associated with energy need to be fixed before wind energy is utilized fully. A few of these limitations are summarised below.
1: Area Problem
The main problem with wind energy is that obtaining it requires many turbines. These turbines occupy a significant amount of space. The land that needs to be allocated to these farms can be better off being used for other things too. Areas with high winds are already hard to locate. These wind farms are rarely built next to cities.
This is because these farms generate noise pollution. This may disrupt the life of the residents in the city. They are then built-in remote areas far from cities. The problem with this is that the energy that is produced has to be transported. This is difficult to do and may result in extra costs too.
2: Wildlife Issues
While the farms pose less threat to the environment, some problems are still present. The most common problem is birds running into the wind turbines. Special care has to be given to the wildlife as this can cause problems with the turbines as well. The other problem is that the area needed for these farms can be habitats for wildlife. Building wind farms can essentially destroy the habitat for many wildlife.
Wind energy is a promising endeavor but has yet to be the primary source of energy. At present, wind energy is being used in conjunction with natural fossil fuels. There are a few problems to fix and some adjustments to be made. Many predict a future where energy becomes the first choice for sustainable energy is close. It is perfectly capable of powering up entire power plants. Even large-scale productions such as by an industrial robot manufacturer can be powered. Renewable energy is nearing its debut as the only energy source.