If you’ve ever driven across the Mid-West then you probably have a visual when you hear the term windmill. The traditional windmill is an old, rickety, wooden pin-wheel atop a triangular also wooden base. They look cool and antiquated and they scream middle country America. However, these windmills are actually water pumps that use the wind to haul water to the surface for drinking or irrigation purposes. They don’t necessarily create a source of energy to use for electricity. Modern day windmills are rather abundant in remote areas covering the entire horizon sometimes as you head down a rural two lane road. These humongous white spinning structures are a source of energy for many people nearby, and even people quite a ways away. So what are the advantages of having these massive turbines? There are plenty and it’s not all to do with sustainability, although this is a great reason to utilize wind energy. If you are interested in becoming certified as a LEED green associate (eco-friendly builders) check out the LEED green associate exam prep course.
Let’s look at the advantages of wind energy:
1. Renewable Energy
Besides looking cool (I think), the large white wind mills with blades that are bigger than a semi-truck, are a very reliable source of renewable energy. In a day where many of global warming concerns are focused on our use of fossil fuels – wind energy is a very desirable option. These wind turbines are created in factories and installed on farm land without any mountain top mining or oil rigs in the Gulf. It’s a desirable alternative to provide energy to a variety of populations. Plus, it works great in addition to solar energy – another kind of renewable energy. Interested in propagating solar energy? Become a solar salesperson. Get training in this online course Selling Residential Solar.
Wind turbines may not always offer the most desirable amount of energy due to varying weather conditions in different geographic locations. As such, it’s important to take note of the consistent wind conditions in an area before deciding to erect a wind turbine (or fifty). After Al Gore’s heroic (or something) documentary on global warming came out a lot of attention has been given to the idea that humans are actually the source of climate change and the depletion of natural resources (obviously). Because of this, more and more people are turning to alternative energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the improvement of our global environment. Read this article on examples of sustainable development to give you more ideas on what to do to accomplish your eco-friendly goals.
2. Cost Efficient
While the initial expense may be a bit high out-of-pocket, the amount of money saved during the long lifespan of these wind turbines is remarkable. Considering wind is free and these turbines operate off of wind – the cost is virtually nothing for the owner. However, if wind ceases to blow the owner will either be out of electric, or will have to default back to a more traditional power source to prevent a break in power usage. Heat and shifting currents are responsible for wind. Maybe learning some basic meteorology will help you determine if the potential plot will be good and windy, or not. Check out Weather Predictions 101 an online course. The wind turbine installment process may also be lengthy or costly if the soon-to-be turbine owner has to clear land for the wind farm.
The cost of purchasing a wind turbine for suburban home use runs anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the kW. If you plan on having someone else install it you’re looking at an additional $10,000 -$30,000 depending. These neighborhood wind turbines are approximately 12-15 feet tall and will take care of around 75% of your electric needs (again, depending on the area). If you are a farmer and are looking for more substantial wind energy the costs are noticeably higher. The turbine and installation will cost up to $120,000 per turbine. Now think about those speckled Mid-Western farms that have hundreds of these on the landscape. It’s expensive – but investments usually pay off and this one certainly does.
3. Developing Countries
Due to the flexibility of the wind turbine countries that may lack access to other energy sources can really benefit from wind energy. This of course depends on the location. Coastal regions and savannahs are great places to install wind turbines because wind is typically abundant and unobstructed. Using wind energy in developing countries is a great alternative to other fuel sources, however, it can be costly which can pose a problem for countries who lack the resources to install them.
4. Remote Places
Like with developing countries, remote villages or towns can seriously benefit from using wind energy over other less detrimental sources like coal or oil. Learn more about natural resources like these in this Geology 101 course. If you live “off the gird” or somewhere tucked away in the mountains it can be difficult to obtain electricity like people living in an urban center. In order for a town to be “on the grid” the power companies have to run a line of power to the town from a power source. This process can be expensive and timely. Most towns in the United States have access to the grid despite being miles and miles away from a town – but these people may choose to use alternative energy since because it’s cheaper, easier, and they have the space for it.
5. Less Room
Fossil fuel plants take up a lot of room. They aren’t the most attractive of things and they are dangerous to the environment. Wind turbines take up much less room and don’t pose any dangers to the environment…except maybe the occasional bird that gets sucked into its vortex. There have been adjustments made to the fixtures to help prevent this from happening. Otherwise, wind energy is not an invasive energy source.
In the end, wind energy isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay, there are still other alternatives like solar energy that can be utilized where wind is not consistently available. Learn even more about energy in the 21st-century and how economics play a huge role in the course Energy Economics and the Environment.