Do you wish to live in a healthy environment? Of course you do. Everyone wishes to live in a healthy environment, to survive. If we do not use alternate sources of energy, our very own survival is at stake. We are ruining the planets climate by excessive carbon dioxide emissions. By continuously using fossil fuels we will increase the temperature to a state which is unbearable for us, and the entire ecosystem. Everything needs a balance, and what we are doing is tipping the balance to one side. Fossil fuels will also run out, which is why we need to look towards more alternate sources of energy that don’t have as many harmful effects to nature, such as solar energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric energy.
How is Wind Power Produced?
Wind power converts the energy from wind to be used as an alternate source of energy. It generates electricity from mechanical power. The energy is converted by using a large wind turbine which consists of propellers. Generators are usually attached to the wind turbines to produce electricity The wind passes the turbines while it moves the blades which spin the shaft. These shafts conduct electromagnetic currents, and that is how the energy is produced.
China, the United States, and the collective member states of the European Union are the top 3 countries/regions with the highest wind power capacities. The reason why they have such high wind power capacities is simply because they have the resources. China has around 2,380 gigawatts (GW) of exploitable capacity on land and 200 Gigawatts on the sea. The 2 countries and union just have lots of capacity to produce wind energy and the resources to do so.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy
Wind energy is a great source of energy but, just as is the case with almost everything we do, it always has its upsides along with its disadvantages.
- Wind energy is a clean fuel source, and it is a source that does not pollute the air, which is good for humans and the ecosystem.
- Wind Supply is generally abundant. In the U.S the wind power capacity increased an average of 30% per year, outpacing the 28% in worldwide capacity.
- Wind energy is also sustainable. As long as there is a sun, there will be wind energy. Wind itself is caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun and how the earth rotates, along with the land structures of earth’s surface.
- Wind power is also a great way to save money. It incurs some of the lowest prices among all sources of energy. It costs between four to six cents per kilowatt-hour.
- Production of wind energy will also create jobs. With any project to put into place wind turbines, there will be a demand for workers, and when there is need for workers that means that jobs have been created. Wind energy will also support many industries. It has the potential to support more than 600000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and supporting services by 2050 just in the U.S.
Those are a few of the many advantages wind power provides. As for the disadvantages, there are several notable ones to look at as well.
- High quality wind sites are usually located in locations far from cities, and cities are generally where electricity is needed. Economically, a good amount of money needs to be spent for transmission lines to be built to transfer the electricity from the wind farm into the city.
- Turbine blades also have a small history of damaging local wildlife. Many birds die by flying into the spinning turbine blades. So there is always the risk of damaging the local ecosystem.
- Wind Turbines also create lots of noise which will be irritating to many people. Wind turbines also to people aren’t generally aesthetic, so it may detract from the appeal of the area.
- Wind turbines also may not be the most profitable use for land, as there are other options for the land available, such as agriculture, which can bring in more revenue.
- Wind power also requires a bit of a higher investment than fossil-fueled generators, so economically it has its downsides in terms of capital intensity.
Regardless of the disadvantages, if we value the ecosystem we would look more towards alternate energy sources and treat not only ourselves, but the planet better. For how you treat yourself is how you also treat the planet. Everything is connected and one and we must come to that realization for a prosperous future.
Countries With The Highest Installed Wind Power Capacity
|Installed Windpower Capacity (in MW), 2015