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Pros and Cons of Wind Power

wind energy is part of the future

Wind power has the potential to replace at least one major fossil fuel used today on a mass scale for energy generation in the United States, but in order to make the switch from fossil fuels to clean energy, we need to make serious investments to increase the generation capacity for wind energy and decrease the investments made in power plants burning fossil fuels. Let’s see what are the pros and cons of wind power.

What is Wind Power

The wind on our planet is produced by the Sun, which means that this natural resource of clean and free power needs to be harvested by mankind because is there for us waiting to be turned into clean electricity since millions of years.

According to, the energy sources used to generate electricity in the U.S. in 2018 were 63.5% based on fossil fuels, 19.3% nuclear, and only 17.1% renewable energy from which wind power accounted for only 6.6%.

The energy mix is showing that even today, only 17% of the energy sources used in the U.S. are clean, while more than 80% are based on fossil fuels and are affecting the environment and our life here in the planet.

Pros of Wind Power

Being an endless source of free energy here on the planet, wind power has way more advantages than disadvantages.

1. Is a Renewable Energy Source

I already mentioned that the wind on our planet is produced by the Sun because the different air layers in the atmosphere are heated in an uneven way by our star, and this leads to a movement of the air layers (the warm air moves up, and the cold air moves down).

This movement of the different air layers in the atmosphere is what we call the wind.

The Sun is considered a renewable resource because is here to send us heat and light for at least another 5 billion years, and this means that as long as we have an atmosphere, the Sun will generate wind that can be used to produce clean electricity without polluting the environment.

2. Keeps the air clean

In contrast to a coal-fired power plant that pollutes not only the air, but also the soil and the water around it, a wind farm will only produce clean energy with zero emissions, and will keep the air clean.

3. Provides a new type of income for rural communities

The wind is stronger in open areas that have no natural or man-made obstacles (large buildings, tall trees, hills, mountains, etc.), so the rural communities that have conditions for wind power generation can be used to install wind turbines (deep in the field and away from human settlements).

Installing wind turbines will bring a new type of income for the economies of the rural communities (a new source of property taxes in rural areas).

4. Has a fixed and stable price

We all know that the price of electricity goes up almost every year, and this is happening because the energy that we use today is mostly produced using fossil fuels that have a highly variable mining and transportation costs.

Wind power instead produces clean electricity using only the wind (which is free) and this is the reason why the price of the energy produced by wind turbines is fixed and stable on the energy market.

To stop the yearly energy price increases we need to replace the dirty fossil fuels with renewable energy because only the clean and free energy can reduce our energy bills and can provide energy freedom for all of us.

5. Provides land preservation

Wind turbines installed on agricultural land have a minimum impact on crop production or livestock grazing because they require only a small area of land to install the turbine.

The surrounding land can still be used for agriculture and livestock grazing.

6. Creates new jobs

Wind energy is very attractive for investors today because is a good source of long-term income.

This could be the reason why we see new wind projects emerging every year in the U.S. and around the world, which create new short and long term jobs for people living in the area where a new wind farm is built.

7. Is an energy source of the future

Being produced by the Sun, wind power is considered a renewable energy source that can help mankind reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

In only a couple of decades from now on, wind power along with the other sources of renewable energy (solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal, tidal, wave, nuclear fusion, etc.), will become the main sources of power on planet Earth, and fossil fuels will become history.

Cons of Wind Power

Like any other source of electricity, wind power has its disadvantages mainly due to the fact that the large horizontal-axis wind turbines often kill wildlife (birds and bats) that are hit by the rotating blades of the turbines.

1. Is an intermittent source of power

Like many other sources of renewable energy (solar, wave, etc.) wind power is an intermittent source of energy because the wind does not blow all the time with the same speed.

To spin a large wind turbine and generate power, we need a wind that blows with a speed between 7 mph (11 km/h) and 55 mph (88 km/h), which means in the days when the wind has a lower speed, the turbine will sit motionless without producing energy.

This is a problem for the electrical grid because the grid requires a constant supply of energy during a 24-hour period, and more energy during peak periods (afternoon when everyone is home).

To solve the intermittency issue (specific to solar and wind power), the grid usually uses a source of renewable energy (solar or wind) combined with a source of energy produced from fossil fuels (usually natural gas), to ensure a constant supply of energy in the grid.

2. Produces a strong sound

Large wind turbines are quite noisy, and this is the reason why they can be found offshore or onshore, but away from human settlements.

However, when we compare the noise released by a large horizontal-axis wind turbine with other noisy places that are used every day, we can see that if placed half a mile away from human settlements, wind turbines don’t bother anyone.

Let’s see what data has been gathered a couple of years ago by The Telegraph.

3. Have a visual impact on the landscape

People that are aware of the human impact on the environment generated mainly by the massive use of fossil fuels for energy generation on the planet, are happy to see wind turbines because they understand that these devices are producing clean energy and are keeping the air clean.

However, there are people more interested to see a clean landscape (with no wind turbines in the background) because they don’t care about air pollution and global warming.

There is also a third category of people, which are called ‘çlimate change deniers’, and these people consider wind turbines only a waste of money because climate change is not real (in their opinion).

4. Wind farms killing wildlife

Large horizontal-axis wind turbines can kill birds and bats due to the fact that their spinning blades could hit birds and bats flying close to the turbine.

Up to one hundred Golden Eagles are killed every year in Northern California, and other birds in the South.

It is good to have clean energy instead of fossil energy, but we can do this without affecting wildlife.

The technology used to produce wind power needs to evolve to become friendly with wildlife, otherwise there is no gain in producing clean electricity to protect the environment while we kill wildlife.

5. Erosion of the wind turbine blades

The erosion of the horizontal-axis wind turbine blades is real and affects the performance of the wind turbines in terms of service life.

There are tens of factors causing the erosion of the blades (among them we can mention rain, hailstones and sand dust, but there are many other factors involved in the process), and because this issue affects the entire wind energy sector, scientists are working hard to find a solution.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was used to create a new model for the blades and tailored material (3-D printing) that can be used to solve the issue at least virtually for the moment (the antiAGE project).

Final conclusion

The technology used to produce wind energy will surely evolve up to a level where the devices used to turn the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy and then into clean electricity will no longer affect wildlife of any form.

At the same time, the technology used to store the energy produced by wind turbines also needs to evolve to overcome the intermittency issue.

When all these issues will be solved, the power of the wind will truly become ready to serve mankind for a clean future created for us and the future generations.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

1 Comment

  1. Old Jeff

    I got the address of your website from my neighbor who shared with me this article because we have a joint-project together in which we plan to build a pretty large wind turbine (2 kWh vertical-axis) to power our homes, and maybe even a pool.

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