There’s no doubt that planning a renewable energy system can be quite a daunting task. There really are so many decisions to make that many people never actually get started because they are just too overwhelmed.
In this article, I’ll be discussing my views on wind energy pros and cons and hopefully my thoughts will help you determine whether you should add wind power to the array of sources that you’ll be powering your home with.
As with any form of alternative energy, you can expect that there will be both positive reasons for using it and reasons why you might not choose to use it. Allow me to share a few of my thoughts on this subject.
Some Advantages of Wind Energy
Let’s get started by taking a look at some of the advantages of wind power.
- Wind energy is one of the true forms of renewable energy. Wind will always be blowing somewhere long after fossil fuels have been depleted.
- Wind turbines can produce electricity 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They don’t go off duty simply because the sun goes down.
- The process of generating electricity from the wind is about as green as it gets. When those rotor blades are spinning, the only output is electricity. There’s no harmful emissions to damage the atmosphere whatsoever.
- With just a little skill and some determination, a homemade wind turbine can be built that will output much more electricity when the wind is blowing than a similarly priced solar panel.
- Generating power from the wind doesn’t require a lot of space. Since poles or towers are used to get the devices high into the air, the land on the ground can still be used for another purpose. For example, farmers can install an array of wind generators on their land and get double use out of what was once single use land.
- Another of the benefits of wind energy is that wind turbines can be installed in very remote locations which means that they can bring electricity to communities that otherwise wouldn’t be able to have it.
- One thing we can count on is that the price of electricity from fossil fuels will continue to rise. Wind energy, however, will not. Once installed, the energy produced by these units will flow out at no cost. It’s like a gift from mother nature!
- Since wind power is a renewable energy source, you may be eligible for a tax rebate if you install turbines to generate a portion of your electricity.
- Not only can wind keep your lights on and your coffee maker churning out coffee, it can actually put money in your pocket. If you are able to produce more energy than you use, you can sell the excess electricity back to the power company.
- After you have installed a wind turbine, you don’t have to buy fuel for your new “green generator”. Even with our super efficient Honda eu2000i, we still have to feed it gasoline and oil to keep it happy.
- When people use wind power, they are helping to strengthen the economy because it creates jobs. The jobs created are those to manufacture, install, and maintain wind powered power plants. There are also manufacturing jobs created to produce wind turbines that are designed to be used on a residential level.
Some Disadvantages of Wind Energy
The universe wouldn’t stay in balance if I didn’t point out some of the the disadvantages of wind power so now let’s take a stab at that.
- Wind is a bit of an inconsistent resource. Depending upon location, wind speeds can vary dramatically from day to day and even from hour to hour. This means that people who live in areas where the wind is more consistent will have more predictable results than those who don’t.
- Unlike solar panels that are silent, all wind turbines produce a certain amount of noise. Poorly designed units are much nosier than others but some sound is inevitable.
- Some people don’t like the looks of these devices. When several turbines are utilized, there’s really no way to hide them.
- There may be an impact on the local wildlife. If a large array of wind powered generators are installed in an area, there will be a change in the landscape that could result in a change in the wildlife habitat. Additionally, birds could be injured or killed if they fly into fast moving rotor blades.
- These devices can be difficult to install and maintain. Depending on the type of towers that are used, raising them can be difficult and it often requires specialized equipment, experience, and tools. If it becomes necessary to perform maintenance on home wind generators, the turbine either has to be lowered to the ground or someone has to climb the tower. Both present challenges as well as safety hazards.
- Poorly designed units can pose a safety hazard. If a rotor assembly isn’t designed properly or if it has any defects in it’s workmanship, rotor blades have been known to break apart under high wind speed and send the broken rotors flying away in unpredictable directions.
- It’s true that wind turbines can output more electricity per unit than solar panels but they still produce much less than power plants that burn fuels.
How About Some Input From You
I’ve hit on many of the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy as I see them in this article. I’d be really interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the subject. Feel free to drop a comment in the form below and share your opinions about this matter.