With all the talk of carbon footprints, global warming and green living, people are thinking more and more about alternative energy options. One of those options is wind power. While many of us know that it is possible to harness the wind’s energy for the production of electricity, few actually realize just how many benefits can be gained from using this method. In this article we will look at some of the most important benefits that wind power can bring.
Firstly, wind power is inherently one of the cleanest sources of power available. It does not contribute to global warming, nor does it produce any form of harmful waste. This means of course, if we used wind power for more of our energy needs we would be doing the earth a very big favor. This is through not only a reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced but also of sulfur dioxide (SO2) which raises the acidity of the moisture in the air causing “acid rain”. Wind turbines also do not require the use of non-renewable fuels such as coal, as wind energy is generated by earth heating and cooling each day due to the sun. Add to all this the fact that wind farms require very small amounts of land and can be integrated into farm land, and you can see that they are an extremely environmentally friendly energy source.
Wind power is also a relatively cheap source of energy. After the initial manufacturing costs, the maintenance costs are much lower than that of other energy stations, and the source of energy – the wind – is completely free. Wind power already costs about the same as conventional fossil fuel power stations and pretty soon will be cheaper as the cost of these fuels continues to rise. It is estimated that wind power will also be cheaper than nuclear energy by the year 2020. Wind farms also create jobs. The many offshore engineering jobs currently provided by the gas and oil industries could be replaced by wind farms, as well as providing more jobs all round. They could even give the tourism industry a boost, as many people find wind turbines interesting enough to visit, and wind farms are encouraged to allow visitor access, including a visitor center and viewing platforms.
There is no doubt that wind power works and works well. There are currently around 68,000 wind turbines in operation around the world, and Denmark gets 20% of all its energy from wind farms. With so many benefits and no obvious disadvantages, it’s a wonder we haven’t already made the switch to wind power. But you don’t need to wait for the government to change things for you, wind turbines are available for home purchase too and you can mount them in a variety of places. Although it is rare to generate 100% of a home’s energy from wind power, it is not impossible, and some people are even making a profit selling energy back to the energy grid. The initial investment may be pretty steep, but this will be recovered over time with the huge savings on heating and energy bills you will make.