Wind energy is the energy that is produced using wind. Wind is described as a form of solar energy because of the nature in which it is created. It is said to be caused by the uneven heating of the earth’s atmosphere that is caused by solar radiations. Wind energy is generated when winds are used to rotate huge turbines, which in turn produce mechanical energy that is then made to electricity. This form of power is not that widespread, with wind power accounting for only 3.1% of the world's electricity usage in 2014. However, many European countries rely on wind power, and countries such as the US, China, and India are moving up the ranks in wind power production.
Pros of Wind Energy
As a renewable resource, wind energy is thought to have many pros.
Renewable Energy Source
The primary advantage of this form of energy is that it is a free and renewable source of energy. It implies that no matter how much of the wind energy the world may consume today, tomorrow there will be still the same supply of energy. Apart from this energy being free and renewable, the wind is a clean form of energy. Wind energy is known to be generated by wind power plants that make use of huge turbines that convert this energy into electricity. Because of the nature of its production, the wind energy does not release harmful pollutants into the earth’s atmosphere.
The cost of installation of the wind turbines is less as compared to that of installing fossil-fueled generators. Therefore, wind energy can be described as being a cheap form of energy. For instance, the fossil-fueled systems incur extra costs of purchasing fuel that is used to run the generators, which is not experienced in the wind energy since the turbines generate energy by using wind. Moreover, wind energy can be installed in developing countries that lack proper infrastructure because installing wind turbines does not require any complex infrastructure compared to installing coal power plants.
Another advantage of the wind energy is that it requires minimal space for installation. Unlike other power plants, installing the wind turbines does not require clearing large areas of land, also after the wind turbines have been established, the land can still be used for other activities such as farming.
Cons of Wind Energy
While many believe that there are more pros than cons in harnessing wind power, there are still some cons to consider.
The major disadvantage of wind energy is that it cannot be wholly relied upon since wind cannot be stored for future use. It is also difficult to generate instant wind when electricity is required.
To produce wind energy, the wind turbines must be installed in the right wind spots, which mostly happen to be in areas that are far away from the city. These remote locations usually do not have a high demand for power, and transporting this form of energy to the big cities is very costly.
Even though wind energy is a clean form of energy, the issue of noise that is produced by the rotor blades has been a significant concern.
Birds and bats have also been killed by the windmills, and it can be argued that this form of energy poses a threat to the wildlife.