Just as with any power source, there are wind energy pros and cons. The growing consumption and steady increase in cost of non-renewable energy sources have driven people to seek alternate power sources to meet their electrical needs. One of these options is wind energy.
In How Does Wind Energy Work?, we talked about the ins and outs of wind power. The use of wind power has been growing rapidly and possesses enormous possibility. In my research, I found these 13 quick facts on wind energy. I was surprised by some of them. Hopefully, they’ll help you determine the balance of wind energy pros and cons for yourself.
|13 Wind Energy Facts|
|1. Wind power was used by farmers for grinding grains and to pump water from wells more than a thousand years ago. Now the most common use of wind energy is to satisfy the essential energy needs of many of today’s nations.|
|2. Wind power is the fastest-growing supply of electricity generation on the planet.|
|3. More than 80 different nations use wind power to produce electricity commercially.|
|4. One big wind turbine can power more than 500 homes.|
|5. It’s estimated the onshore wind to electricity available can power America 10 times over.|
|6. Modern wind turbines generate 15 times more electricity compared to a turbine in 1990.|
|7. In some places, like Portugal and Denmark, wind power provides approximately 20 percent of the total electricity generation.|
|8. Unlike almost every other kind of energy production, wind power uses virtually no water.|
|9. The big blades of wind turbines can cause interference with radar systems and air traffic control systems. They are occasionally, mistaken for various weather patterns or airplanes.|
|10. As of May 2014, America had 46,000 wind turbines in production of electricity.|
|11. Wind energy costs have dropped since 2009. The lower costs installation and equipment, along with improved design and function, make wind power pricing competitive. After topping out at almost $70/megawatt-hour the average dropped to around $40/megawatt-hour nationally.|
|12. Smaller turbines are used to charge batteries or as backup power source on ships.|
|13. Modern wind turbines typically have 3 blades which may reach speeds of over 320 KPH (200 MPH).|
These are just some of the wind energy facts you may not have known. If you have some to add, be sure to help others by leaving a comment below.
If you are learning or want to learn how to live off grid, knowing the wind energy pros and cons will help you decide if it’s right for you.
Unlike using petroleum or coal, producing energy using the wind doesn’t generate pollutants or require any hazardous substances.
It’s there for the taking, if you reside in a geographical area which has adequate winds.
Unlike natural, non-renewable resources, wind cannot be depleted.
The electric company might wind up owing you, if you have a system hooked up to supplement the grid.
The expense of generating wind energy has dropped considerably recently, and it’s going to continue to become cheaper as it gains popularity.
You’ll recoup the expense of installing and buying your wind turbine in a comparatively short time period.
State and federal tax incentives are available for installing wind turbines.
Land owners who lease property to wind farms can make additional cash.
Wind energy creates new jobs in this growing technology field.
No fuel to drill, frack, mine, burn or transport. Just clean, sustainable energy.
Considerable national supply – more than enough to power the entire nation.
Once the infrastructure is paid for, the electricity is basically free.
Can be used virtually everywhere.
The wind can be unreliable, inconsistent and unpredictable in many areas.
Wind farms are usually found in rural areas which isn’t appreciated by everyone. Some individuals consider them to be an eyesore.
Some individuals complain of the noise from wind-tower turbines.
Impact on local weather and nighttime temperatures is reported on large wind farms.
Since wind does not constantly blow, turbines can operate at just 30 percent capacity.
Exceptionally high winds or intense thunderstorms might cause damage to your wind turbine, particularly when they are hit by lightning.
The blades of wind turbines will often be dangerous to birds.
Compliance with ordinances and city codes may be restricting. In some instances, height limitations may hinder you.
Other equipment needed to create wind energy and wind turbines can be expensive. Availability of product and installation may be limited in your area.
Wind energy requires open land, it may require clearing your land of obstructions.
As you consider the future of your power needs, wind energy pros and cons will weigh in. Is it an excellent fit for you by itself? Will it work in conjunction with some other sustainable solution, like solar panels for home use?
Solar panels can easily be attached to the roof of your house, or a hydro system can work in tandem with your wind system. Of course, this would rely on your having the steady flow of a creek or river nearby.
We live off grid and know what it’s like to live with no power and using different off grid power measures to keep things charged and going. I appreciate the opportunities we have today to power our homesteads in clean, self-sustaining ways.
It’s not only good for the environment and your pocket book in the long run, but it is also a great source of peace to know you produce enough power to continue to run your homestead the way you want to.
Freedom is something which has to have a self-sustaining foundation for it to survive. Producing your own power gives a little bit more of the wonderful feeling of free living.
Do you have more wind energy pros and cons you can share with us?
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack