Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power

wind turbines

What Is Wind Power?

Wind power is a renewable energy source which involves the conversion of wind energy into a usable form of energy. Wind turbines are a low-carbon way of generating electrical power from the kinetic energy of the wind; the amount of electricity generated depends on the speed of the wind and number of wind turbines employed. The UK’s Government is committed to increasing the proportion of UK’s energy that comes from renewable sources from 3% in 2009 to 15% in 2020. Additionally, the UK has set aside £45 billion for decommissioning its nuclear power stations, that is, enough to pay for wind turbines to provide 40% of the UK’s total power demand.

Advantages of Wind Power?

  • Wind power has a remarkably small impact upon the carbon footprint.
  • There are zero carbon emissions associated with the operation of wind turbines.
  • The only emissions emitted from wind turbines arise from their manufacture, construction and maintenance.
  • Wind energy has one of the lowest water consumption footprints, unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants.
  • Wind turbines reduce a nation’s demand for imported fuel sources.
  • Wind power production meant that Europe managed to avoid fuel costs amounting to €5.71 billion.
  • Wind turbines are a great resource to help generate energy in remote locations such as mountain communities or the countryside.
  • Wind power can be combined with Solar Energy in order to generate a sustainable energy source in developing countries.

 

Disadvantages of Wind Power?

  • Wind turbines depend on a suitable wind speed in order to generate electricity.
  • If wind speed is below a certain threshold, turbines depend on other forms of electricity generation in order to operate.
  • Planning permission can be hard to get hold of for onshore wind farms due to the visual impact of the turbines.
  • The complexity of manufacturing offshore wind farms makes it a much more costly method than onshore wind farms.
  • Wind turbines generate a lot less power than the average fossil fuelled power station, requiring multiple wind turbines to be built in order to make an impact.

Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Solar Energy.

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