You must concur that wind energy is gaining immense popularity among majority of people as well as governments. One of the main reasons for this growth in popularity is the current energy status of our planet. Since one can remember, the world has solely been relying on fossil based fuels such as natural gas and oil to power economies. Almost everything from the vehicle that you are driving, the processed foods that you eat, which has been processed in a factory that uses fossil based fuels to the lighting and cooking in your house, there is a great level of dependency on fossil based fuels.
Nonetheless, as a result of this extreme dependency on the fossil based fuels, we are witnessing the negative consequences that are affecting our planet. By now, you must be aware of the term global warming, which is used to refer to the rate at which the temperatures of the earth are rising.
This global warming scenario is as a result of the destruction of the ozone layer by the carbon emissions produced when we use the fossil based fuels. In addition to the global warming, we now have changes in weather patterns, where you hear of some places experiencing unusual and extreme climatic conditions such as high temperatures, which lead to severe droughts or famine and regular floods.
In the last ten years or so, many people have lost their lives as a result of global warming related changes. The other reason for the rapid growth in popularity and need for wind energy is the high prices of the fossil based fuels, a good example being crude oil which some few months back, the international price of crude oil had hit a record high of about $ 140 per barrel. If you can remember the period of high crude oil prices, economies slowed down, the living standards became very high due to the increase in the price of commodities. The third reason is as a result of the dwindling amounts of fuels such as oil in the earth's crust. In other words, we are about to drain the remaining reserves of oil in the world.
This happenings and events have made more people and governments desire to look for alternative forms of energy that is both convenient and reliable. Wind energy can be defined as the energy harnessed from the wind. In a more technical definition, wind energy is the kinetic energy found in wind since it is in motion and it is transformed from this particular form to other useful forms known as wind power such as electricity. The harnessing of wind energy dates back along time when there was the use of wind mills for irrigation and farming.
As an alternative form of energy, wind energy has several advantages and disadvantages, this is very normal since nothing is perfect. But for most people it is about choosing an alternative form of energy that best serves the energy needs of the world with little or no adverse effects.
Advantages of Wind Energy
To begin with, you can attest to the fact that wind energy has the advantage of being in plenty of supply. Unlike most sources of energy such as the fossil based fuels e.g. oil wells or wells for natural gas, wind energy never runs out and is enough to meet the energy needs of every body. In addition to the fact that wind energy is in plenty supply, it is easily renewable and is widely distributed.
Therefore, unless you are not on planet earth you cannot hear of a place that does not have wind energy. Moreover, as a result of its ample availability and distributive nature, it reduces dependence among countries as in the case of fossil based fuels such as oil. For environmentalists, it is the best source of energy and one that promotes a clean environment. Wind is not known to have any substance that is toxic to the environment such as emissions of harmful gases.
Another advantage of wind energy is the production cost, unlike oil and natural gas, the cost of producing wind power from wind energy is at an all time low. This low cost can be as a result of the few equipments that are required such as turbines ad their maintenance cost is also low compared to a power generating station. Sometime in the future, wind energy might become the cheapest form of energy to produce.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy
When you come to the disadvantages, wind energy, which comes from wind, is predictable. Therefore, as much as it is a very reliable form of energy when it comes to quantity, it is not reliable when it comes to availability. You cannot easily predict when it will or will not be there.
Although it is cheap when it comes to production, it can be very expensive when it comes to large-scale production of power. In addition to the high cost of large scale production, most wind farms are far away from where consumption of the wind power can take place, therefore it can be uneconomical to produce it. For environmentalists, the turbines can be a great source of noise pollution. Finally, the amount of wind energy produced at a particular point is variable as it depends on several factors affecting the wind such as the speed of wind, wind availability and the features of the turbines.
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