There are not many forms of low-pollution, renewable energy that exist in the world today. One of those forms that has been developed is wind energy. When wind hits the blades of a turbine or mill, it creates a source of power that can be used for a wide variety of things. We see wind energy being used for electricity generation, but windmills have been used to pump water and complete other rural tasks for well over a century.
There are some positives that wind energy brings to our world, but there are some negatives that must be considered as well. Here is a look at the issue in some greater detail.
What Are the Positives of Wind Energy?
1. There is no greenhouse gas produced after the installation of the turbine.
The only greenhouse gases that are created in the wind energy development process come from the manufacturing process of the turbines and mills. Once installed, there is no carbon dioxide or methane emissions that occur whatsoever. This means that wind energy has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the industry today.
2. It provides energy resources that have stable prices.
Unlike fossil fuels that can have dramatic changes in prices because they are traded as commodities, wind energy is free for everyone. Although some days are less windy than others, so less overall power is generated, the costs don’t go through the various fluctuations that other energy products do.
3. It is an extremely flexible production method.
Turbines are able to turn with the wind, come in various sizes, and even be mounted on the sides of buildings if necessary. One large 20 story wind turbine can generally create enough power to feed the needs of up to 1,400 homes. Wind energy can also be used on local levels for households that are trying to live off of the grid.
What Are the Negatives of Wind Energy?
1. Most turbines require a very high profile in order to be effective.
Wind turbines alter the visual landscape of an area because they must be taller than the tree line where they are located. This means that they will become the dominating feature of a horizon or skyline and that isn’t always a pleasant site to see if there are many in the same location.
2. They can create a lot of noise.
When giant blades are spinning through the air at high speeds, the sounds are similar to what someone would hear from a personal fan, but on a much larger level. For those that live nearby the large turbines, this is a noise that can become quite bothersome over time – especially if a home doesn’t have soundproofing.
3. They may kill local wildlife.
A 2007 National Academy of Sciences study determined that a minimum of 20,000 birds are killed every year from the spinning blades of a turbine. Although more birds are killed by power line collisions, it still is a preventable animal death when it occurs.
Is wind energy something that you or your community is considering? If the positives outweigh the negatives for using this renewable resource in your home or area, then consider investing into wind energy today so that you can get off the grid, have predictable costs, and a relatively safe method of energy development.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.