Currently showing: Sustainable energy > Wind

05 Feb 14 08:56

All over the world there is an increased acceptance of the dreary fact that the fossil reserves will come to an end in the near future. It is widely believed that by 2050, the world will start to experience shortage in energy supplies on account of depletion of fossil fuels. The decline in the energy reserves will have to be compensated by investing in the renewable sources of energy.

The demand for energy will definitely increase in the years to come; therefore, it is of paramount importance that governments around the world take up the challenge of channelizing renewable sources of energy on a war footing. There are viable options of harnessing renewable sources of energy; depending upon the feasibility of the renewable energy and its optimum usability, the government and private companies together can build the infrastructure to secure the energy needs of the future.

Wind energy is one of the renewable sources of energy. Experts are of the belief that wind energy has a lot of potential that can be tapped to meet the energy requirements in the future. They opine that in the coming years, wind energy stocks will see a lot of investment on major stock exchanges such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
There are many advantages of wind energy. Let us take a look at them.

Advantages of Wind Energy

Wind energy is a clean source of energy; unlike other fossil fuels, wind energy does not pollute the environment.

The emissions from a wind turbine neither contribute to the greenhouse effect nor cause depletion of the ozone layer as is the case with power plants that operate on coal and natural gas.

Wind supply is abundant and one does not need to worry about the depletion of it.

Although rates vary according to the country and the cost of setting up a wind turbine, experts are of the opinion that wind energy is the cheapest sources of renewable energy, costing only about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Wind turbines do not need a lot of space for construction; the land can still be used for agricultural purposes.

Wind turbines create wealth in the rural parts of a country as farmers make money by leasing out the land to the
power plant companies.

Wind turbines can be the answer to the energy problems of the developing nations.

Challenges Associated with Wind Energy

Wind energy is dependent on the strength of the wind, which is not constant all the time. Therefore, it is difficult to rely on wind energy as there can be long periods where no electricity will be produced.

As most wind power plants have to be built in rural areas, the cost of setting up transmission lines takes a tool on the operational costs.

Many people are of the opinion that wind power plants interfere with the scenery of a place and violate the natural beauty of the countryside.

Wind energy might not cause air pollution, but it does contribute to noise pollution. People living around wind power plants complain of continuous disturbance due to high noise levels.

These were few advantages and challenges associated with wind energy. Although, there are a host of challenges associated with harnessing wind energy, we need to keep in mind that with the rapidly declining fossil reserves, we need to look out for alternatives and overcome the associated challenges.

Category: Sustainable energy: Wind


Alicia Montoya - 7 Feb 2014, 7:06 a.m.

Thanks, Rahul. You make good points about wind. I'm also a fan of clean energy. Having worked at Alstom for many years though, I understand that if we're going to meet the power needs of the future, we will need ALL sources of energy (and these should be as clean as possible), during our transition towards a clean energy future. That means, as you say:
-- investing in developing and installing as much renewable capacity as possible
-- bringing about as many efficiency improvements as possible to new and installed fossil capacity (via new efficient tech and via retrofitting old tech)
-- capturing and storing carbon (CCS).

The good news is a lot of this is happening (although nowhere near as quickly as we'd like). And interesting things are happening in the wind space. Check out what Leviathan energy is doing (see comments)

Oliver Werneyer - 18 Feb 2014, 2:57 p.m.

@Rahul. I find that every one of the different renewable energy sources have their pros and cons and in a way I see that as a good thing and not as a bad thing. This means we can set up different/various systems in various places where they are most suited and provide the best balance. Power output is not the only measure, we need to consider what it costs (financially and the environment) to produce this technology (e.g. battery systems are very damaging to the environment), the environment it will operate it (is noise pollution an issue or not, etc.) the contribution to the economy (in jobs, energy cost savings, etc.) and the aesthetics (yes, in and around cities people want to look at pretty things).

So, good news is that different systems with different characteristics mean we could find a good and balanced layout for various technologies to achieve our goal.

But one of the main things for me, and Alicia probably is getting bored with this already, is where is the energy independence coming from. All the technologies being designed and touted at the moment all need to be built at utility level, which means us, the common folk, need to buy the electricity from a distributor. That means, they can/could charge what they want and they do. So, now it is renewable energy and you have to pay so much for it. That is why (I think) people still stick to their fossil fuels because no matter how much the get that renewable energy is the only future, they want to not pay more for as long as possible.

Independent renewable energy plants (and consumer level) is the ultimate goal, I think.

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