Today, the world is in pretty bad shape, what with the extreme levels of pollution and greenhouse gases rendering the earth an almost uninhabitable planet. And the biggest cause of all this is the huge expenditure of non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum, both of which emit those highly toxic greenhouse gases and pollute the environment. In this current situation, it is highly important that we learn to harness the renewable resources like solar and wind energy, which are far cleaner and friendlier to the environment. In this article, let us see what the benefits of wind energy are, and what challenges we might expect along the way.
Pros of wind energy ?
This one is easy, with wind being a free resource, and we can be certain it is going to be there as long as creatures on earth live.
It is renewable: We will never be able to exhaust all the wind in the world. It is, therefore, a freely available resource, irrespective of your geographical location. Some areas may get windier than the rest, but there is definitely no place above the surface of the earth that does not get any wind at all. The earth’s rotation and the heating of the earth’s atmosphere by the sun causes winds, and since both these phenomena will be present as long as life on earth will exist, there will never be any dearth of wind energy to harness.
It is cheap: Because wind energy is free, there is no basic cost of raw materials, so to speak. Each nation can self sufficiently use wind, unlike other resources like coal and oil, which have varying amounts of deposits in certain regions around the world. With more and more nations stepping up to harness wind energy, the cost of producing power from wind is dropping monumentally. Operational costs basically include no more than the building and running of a turbine, which makes wind a highly cost-effective power source.
It is completely green: Harnessing wind energy does not release any greenhouse gases that lead to air pollution and ultimately global warming. The heat generated from running the turbines is also significantly small, and not enough to make an addition to the already rising temperatures of the globe. In fact, is wind energy is used to replace non-renewable resources, it will significantly cut down on the global warming, and that will be a giant stride toward making the earth a greener place.
It has great potential: Wind energy is not just usable by major organizations to power their centers. If it can be made cost-effective enough, it can also be used to power individual homes. Smaller turbines can be installed in backyards t produce power for a single household. Besides, like all renewable energy sources, wind energy depends a lot of manual labor, which translates to increased employment.
Cons (Challenges) of wind energy ?
As they say, however, every rose has its thorns, and wind energy is no exception.
The costs: Although wind energy will definitely be profitable in the long run, the initial costs are quite high and can be intimidating. Most energy producing companies rely heavily on government tax incentives to begin work on producing power from wind. Statistically speaking, a wind turbine needs to produce about 10 kilowatts of power, which will cost anything between $40,000 and $70,000, to produce enough electricity to be of any significance. As a result, it usually takes such an investment at least a couple of decades just to recover the costs.
Unpredictability: Wind is a pretty unpredictable resource. On some days, you might have huge storms, and on some days there will be very little wind to draw from. So, unless there are some devices to store power in, you might have to spend some day without any electricity at all. That acts as a pretty big roadblock in this scenario since life would come pretty much to a standstill without electricity for most of us.
Threat to wildlife: In a rather paradoxical scenario, wind energy is being perceived as a threat to wildlife by some. According to some data, a great may numbers of birds are likely to be killed on collision with the rotating blades of the turbines used to generate power. Besides, wind turbines produce up to 70 decibels of sound, which can be disturbing to some animals, apart from adding to the noise pollution.
Also read: Organic farming pros and cons
Wind is certainly one of the cleanest and greenest sources of energy out there, and if we intend to continue to live healthily on this planet, it needs to be adopted on a mass scale right now. Some people might say that there are problems with wind energy that cannot be immediately overcome, but researches are being undertaken to tackle those issues. Like it or not, renewable resources are here to stay, literally, and it is high time we started making use of them.