In the search for alternative sources of energy, the advantages of wind energy make it a top choice for many countries. Since it relies solely on the strength of the wind, you can use this energy source to generate electricity that doesn’t hurt the environment. However, this is not the only advantage associated with the use of wind-sourced energy.
There are many other benefits, which is why it comes as no surprise that more and more people are opening up to the idea of harnessing the wind’s power and turning it into energy. Today, we are going to explore the advantages of wind energy and understand why it has become one of the most used alternative energy sources.
The Main Advantages of Wind Energy
A. Environmental Advantages of Wind Energy
1. No Air Pollution
While traditional energy sources pollute the air by releasing particles caused by the burning of fossil fuels, wind turbines don’t, because they cause no atmospheric emissions. So the threat of greenhouse gases and acid rain is non-existent with an alternative energy source such as wind energy.
2. No Water Pollution
Another negative aspect of traditional energy sources is the mercury poisoning of water sources. Wind energy does not release any harmful particles that might cause water contamination, thus preserving water resources. Electricity created with nuclear power requires around 600 times more water than electricity produced by the wind. Along the same lines, electricity created with coal burning consumes around 500 times more water.
3. Less Greenhouse Gas Emission
Using common energy sources constantly releases greenhouse gases, which is not the case with wind energy. Such gases are only released when the turbines are manufactured, installed, or when they need maintenance. However, the process through which they turn the wind into energy does not release any extra greenhouse gases into our environment.
4. No Resource Destruction
Using wind energy has other environmental benefits as well. For instance, there is no wasteful resource mining normally used to fuel traditional energy sources. The same goes for transportation fuel that you use in order to transfer those resources to their respective processing facilities.
5. Land Preservation
Even if we can find wind turbines all around most countries, they don’t take up a lot of space. So people can use the empty space for grazing cattle or to plant crops, instead of letting it go to waste for the sake of other energy sources. This is actually one of the most interesting advantages of wind energy, and one that greatly benefits the land.
6. Renewable Energy
Quite possibly one of the best advantages of wind energy is represented by the fact that it is renewable. Instead of wasting resources to produce fossil fuels, which we will later burn for energy purposes, the wind is a renewable energy source. This means that we can constantly use it and not worry that it will eventually run out.
7. Less Fossil Fuel Consumption
A lot of countries still rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels to create energy. Of course, this is extremely damaging to the environment. However, the developing wind energy industry helps decrease the need for petroleum and other gas products. This leads to less fossil fuel consumption, and ultimately less greenhouse gas emissions.
B. Economic Advantages of Wind Energy
1. Free Fuel
Normally, the fuel we use in conventional energy sources has to be processed. Which means that it takes quite a lot of a country’s budget. However, the wind is a natural fuel that requires no transportation to a power plant or processing. In the long run, using wind energy will help us save a lot of money which can be better spent on other projects.
2. Less Price Fluctuation
Not only do traditional energy sources require a large investment, but they are also unstable when it comes to the average price. Because both the mining and transportation costs vary according to several factors, the price of electricity will also fluctuate. Since with wind energy there are no actual electricity costs, the prices rarely fluctuate.
3. Cost-Effective Production
Because of the fact that wind energy is developing, and more and more countries are considering it as an alternative energy source, the costs involved in manufacturing, installing, and so on have also decreased. So wind energy is much more cost-effective than other non-renewable energy sources.
4. Creating New Jobs
Since wind energy is an almost fully fledged industry, it is only natural that many people will have the possibility of obtaining new jobs, both short term and long term. The employment options are varied, from technicians, assembly workers, meteorologists, surveyors, bankers, lawyers, and so on. If we were to compare new job possibilities in the wind energy industry with job opportunities in a nuclear power plant or coal plant, the numbers are much higher in the former.
5. Receiving Credit
One of the greatest advantages of wind energy is that if you end up generating more electricity than you need to use, you can feed it back into the grid. That way, the electric company will end up owing you money. You will receive credit that amounts for the respective sum.
6. Fewer Subsidies
Unlike other energy systems, wind energy does not require the same number of subsidies. For instance, each year, traditional energy sources receive $300 billion. Wind energy has received only $20 billion in the last 30 years. The enormous difference shows how much more economically profitable the wind energy industry is.
7. Helping Rural Economies
Rural economies benefit a great deal from the creation of new wind turbines. Normally, such rural areas have difficulties finding new industries to develop and diversify their economy. But wind energy can generate new revenue in the form of property tax, that would definitely revitalize these less developed areas.
8. Low Maintenance
Wind turbines do not require a lot of maintenance. So once you install one, you can expect no additional maintenance cost for a long period of time. Especially when it comes to newer wind turbines, it will be a while before you will have to repair something.
C. Social Advantages of Wind Energy
1. Not Intrusive
Since wind turbines can be installed anywhere, even if the land is already used for crops, they prove to be a real support for agriculture, unlike conventional energy sources. No types of crops will be affected by the installation of wind turbines. This is beneficial for people, production, and livestock.
2. Remote Areas
Another benefit of wind energy is that we can use it even in the most remote of areas. In those areas, traditional energy sources have difficulties reaching. That means that remote villages, for instance, can produce energy locally through the installation of wind turbines.
3. Local Energy
As we’ve mentioned above, wind turbines are quite cost-effective, which means that more and more people can now install at least one. So instead of relying on outside-sourced energy, local communities can make use of wind energy in their own backyards. Apart from helping socially, this also helps develop local economy. Small businesses and farm owners can invest in installing wind turbines and contribute to their local community enormously.
4. Sharing Electricity
You don’t have to own a wind turbine in order to make us of the wind’s energy, which is great news for people looking for an alternative energy source. There are utilities companies which use wind power, and which can provide you with the electricity you need for a price.
5. National Independence
Not only can small communities become energy independent, but nations as well. We import a lot of the fossil fuel we use in conventional energy sources, which makes countries dependent on one another. However, harnessing the power of the wind insures that each country can rely on its own national economy to produce electricity.
6. Modern Technology
In recent years, the technology behind the manufacturing of wind turbines has developed to the point where having such an apparatus also enhances your technological productivity, apart from being cost-effective and great for the environment. Moreover, wind turbines come in various sizes, which means that you don’t have to worry if you are a small farm owner or you want to make use of them to power your household.
Everything Summed up
Wind energy is slowly but surely becoming one of the world’s leading renewable energy sources, providing hope for a cleaner environment. However, the benefits of installing wind turbines do not stop here. People benefit from wind energy in a variety of other ways. For instance, the unemployment rate decreases as a result of so many new job opportunities in this respective field. It also helps nations avoid becoming energy dependent, since they can produce their own wind-sourced electricity.
The wind energy industry seems to be developing at a higher rate in the present, since the costs of installing wind turbines have also decreased. So it comes as no surprise that more and more people are choosing this type of energy over more conventional and more expensive ones. Overall, wind energy seems to be one of the leading industries that shows the great development potential of our world.