Jul 242020
Advantages of Wind Turbines – Renewable
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Welcome to my 'Advantages of Wind Turbines' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. In the midst of the current climate crisis, many people are seeking out renewable energy sources with the intention of reducing their carbon footprint. or perhaps you live somewhere remote and finding alternative energy sources are the only option for you to have the power you need.

In this article, we will be exploring the vast advantages of wind turbines and their low impact on the environment. Hopefully, this post will provide you with the information you need to know before choosing to install them.

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

What is a Wind Turbine?

A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. A wind turbine is also known as a wind energy converter. Companies manufacture wind turbines in a wide variety of horizontal and vertical axis.

A single unit has a relatively smaller physical footprint considering the power it is capable of generating. Wind farms are groups of wind turbines located on mountain ridges, on open land, or offshore in the ocean or lakes.

Wind-Farm

How does a Wind Turbine Work?

Energy.gov says wind turbines use natural resources (the wind) to generate electricity. This is the opposite principle to a similar-looking appliance called the fan which uses electricity to generate wind.

The wind comes in, turning the blades of the turbine which is situated on a rotor. This rotor spins a generator which in turn creates the electricity. The aerodynamic force from the rotor blades turns the energy of the wind into electricity.

The blade work a little bit like the wings of an airplane. There is a difference between the air pressure on either side of the blade and this created lift and drag, resulting in the spinning motion.

The rotor is connected to a generator and this can be done in a number of different ways. It is either connected directly or through a long shaft and gears that speed up the rotation. The long shaft is used on large wind turbines which aim to collect more energy at a slightly higher elevation.

It is the transformation of aerodynamic force that rotates a generator which creates electricity.

What Energy Source Does it Use?

Did you know that wind energy is also a type of solar energy? Wait... what? Yes, that is right. This is because the sun plays a role in the creation of the wind.

The wind is made with the combination of three events that happen at the same time. The sun heats the atmosphere at uneven rates, there are irregularities on the surface of the earth and the earth rotates. These three things together create wind.

Benefits of Wind Turbines

Renewable Energy Source

We all know that wind is one of the great renewable energy sources. It is a natural resource that will be available for many millions of years. These types of energy sources have been here longer than humans and will likely outlive us too. This is the opposite of non-renewable energy sources.

Environmental-friendly & Clean Fuel Source

Wind turbines do not pollute the air like other power plants that rely on the combustion of fossil fuels. A wind turbine does not produce emissions in the atmosphere that cause greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Nor do they cause acid rain.

Visual and noise pollution are both environmental factors – however, they don’t have much effect on earth, the quality of air, or the water table. So to me, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.

A wind turbine likewise does not need water for cooling either. So we can reduce our water consumption when using this method to generate electricity.

Reduce Public Health Risks

This clean energy source will improve our air quality, reducing air pollution and the health problems that come from such pollution. Many people in today's world, particularly in cities are suffering from a range of elements as a result of poor air quality.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a variety of different articles on the health risks that air pollution causes.

Turbines can be used Everywhere 

Wind turbines are effective in most areas because there is wind everywhere. However, it is important to note that in rural areas, where there are fewer buildings, there is likely to be more wind available.

It is in these rural areas that people tend to find the best wind sites. Ranchers and farmers are able to work on the land after installing a turbine because they only use a fraction of the land.

The owners of wind power plants make rent payments to the rancher or farmer for the use of the land. This is beneficial for landowners in terms of additional income.

Homeowners can use them on their roofs. There is more wind available on the roof compared to the street level.

This is just an introduction to the places where wind turbines can be used. I have seen them attached to the roofs of boats and a huge variety of off-grid dwellings.

Wind Turbines are Sustainable

For as long as the wind blows and the sun shines, the energy or power produced can be accurately harnessed to provide us with power. Whether this is done on a national scale through the grid or on smaller scales meeting individual needs, wind power will always be available to us.

The resources needed to produce green electricity through the wind turbines will continually replenish because it comes from something natural that is always available – which makes it an endless resource that will sustain our very existence.

Father-and-Daughter-Wind-Turbine

Wind Power is Cost-effective

Today, wind turbines are considered the lowest-priced energy technologies. The power produced by the wind turbine can cost something 4-6 cents per KW/h. However, the cost depends largely on the wind resource as well as the financial aspects of a particular project.

There is a variety of different wind turbines available on the market, to suit a large variety of spaces and needs. Some people build large wind turbines on lands such as ranches or farms. Other people have small ones that fit on the roof of a building, boat, or other vehicles.

They are cheap to make, install and will save you money in the long run because you will be creating your own power. Many people generate more power than they need and get paid to contribute this power to the national grid.

Alternatively, the power can be generated and stored in batteries to use at a later date. Perhaps you have a really windy week and then the next week is really still. You could use the excess power previously generated in the week where you are producing less.

Buiding the Green Business Sector

Furthermore, this increased use of this renewable energy resource has led to the creation of a number of jobs in the manufacture, installation, and maintenance work of wind turbines.

Recent reports show that this industry has the potential to support more than 500,000 jobs by 2040. This is huge!

Reduce Dependency on Non-renewable Energy

The more people that opt into this energy source the bigger this business will grow. Growing this business is important as it will reduce our dependency on non-renewable sources of energy, which will run out.

Reduce Global Warming

Non-renewable sources of energy are too contributing towards global warming and this is particularly true in terms of burning fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are causing global warming.

There have been huge discoveries made over the past couple of decades. The Washington Post wrote an article about thousands of scientists from all over the world who have claimed a climate emergency. They state that we need to cut out fossil fuels and change to renewable energy sources.

Using renewable energy sources such as wind will reduce global warming. We have the power to make these changes by voting with our wallets. If you want to see this on a huge scale, write to your local politicians so that your voice is heard.

Advantages of Wind Turbines: The Final Verdict!

There are numerous reasons why we should be opting for the use of electricity generated from wind turbines. Whether this is on a small individual scale or a late national scale, the benefits to the environment and human existence are phenomenal.

Some people say that they don't like the look of them or the sound that they create. Both of these factors should be taken into consideration for sure. However, when you compare burning fossil fuels to wind turbines, the best option is clear.

With the current emergency crisis, considering aesthetics over the environment is not a viable option.


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Reader Comments

    1. Hello Juan, I am happy to hear that you are considering this energy conversion. Please remember that I am always here if you would like any support or have questions that need answering. Good luck with your transition.

  1. Your posts are so interesting. I always learn something new. I am thinking of getting the wind turbine at our ranch. There aren’t a lot of hills around, and I think it would be perfect. Thanks for your advice.
    Have a nice day.

  2. Great post on renewable energy. Wind turbines are a great addition to utility power. When we couple wind turbines with solar arrays we have a great combination of natural sources of electrical energy.

    Joe

    1. Hi Joe,

      I agree, together they are a strong force. When it is hot the wind is often still and when it is cloudy it of frequently windy.
      By pairing them together you can get a more consistent power supply.
      Thank you for sharing.

  3. I am amazed at the advantages of wind turbines for energy, I am presuming this came from the use of windmills in the past as the basic idea, or am I presuming wrong?

    What would you say would be our costs to be using turbines instead of our present energy sources for the consumers, I am just not sure how this would change our present energy costs for families on a low-income budget?

    Jeff

    1. Yes, the basic concept developed from windmills, both designs make use of aerodynamics.

      This all depends on where you source the energy from. The problem with being dependant on energy companies is they have the power regards to rates and fees.
      They want to make as much money as possible so are likely to charge as much as they possibly can.

      When you invest in these power systems yourself, the power is free. Yes, you have to pay for installation and maintenance but this will be covered in the long term. You will also be better prepared in case of any natural disasters and will not experience power cuts at the mercy of the power company.

      There are also some grants available for installing sustainable energy, this may be worth looking into.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Great article on the advantages of wind turbines! I have seen hundreds of these wind turbines off the highway in CA and I wondered about them. It’s very interesting how they can create sustainable energy. Have you seen them and if so where?

    1. Good morning Alyse,

      It is great to hear from you again. I have seen them in several different places, mainly in the UK as I have done a lot more traveling there than in the USA.
      sometimes they are on land that I presume is rented out by the farmer. I have seen them in some really remote places too and they look awesome!
      I have also seen some offshore wind farms, which are phenomenal looking.

  5. I love the idea of wind turbines and have seen some off the coast of Scotland. The fact they don’t damage the environment outweighs any negativity surrounding appearance or noise. I had no idea they can be installed on roofs and thought only solar panels were suitable for rooftops. However, it does make sense and could save money over the long term.

    1. Hi Kathy, they do have an effect on the environment, but in my humble opinion, they are far better than many other options that we have today.
      The noise and motion affect the biodiversity in their local area somewhat. However, when you compare this to the damage of power plants, the environmental damage is minor.
      Yes, installing them on roofs is particularly effective when paired with solar panels, as it provides a more consistent power source.
      They certainly will help you save money in the long-run.
      I hope this helps.

  6. Hey Catherine – I learned a lot about wind turbines, of which I knew very little before reading your article.

    My son and his wife have 5 kids. They live in Southern CA where there is lots of sun. If I’m not mistaken their solar panels on the roof provide 100% of their electrical needs, including heating a pool in the winter.

    The places I’ve always seen wind turbines are in very windy areas, most of the time. You said you can have them anywhere because wind exists everywhere.

    QUESTION: For areas that have some wind but not a lot, is it possible to calculate a range of how much electricity from another source would be necessary to provide all the electrical needs?

    I’ve heard the argument in the past that hundreds of thousands of birds die from wind turbines in the US each year. I don’t remember ever hearing a counter to that argument. I’m sure that there is one.

    QUESTION: What is an effective response to the people who point out that hundreds of thousands of birds die each year?

    Thanks for your very informative article!

    1. Hello again Glenn, it is always good to hear from you.

      Solar panels are indeed a wonderful power source if you live in a sunny climate. When deciding on what to install it is best to just think about the climate you are in. If you do not have much wind and a lot of suns, then stick with solar. If you live somewhere like the UK where there are long, wet and windy winters and sunny summers a combination set up would be more appropriate.

      Yes, there are a lot of birds that die from wind turbines each year. No energy source is a perfect solution however you must weigh the pros and cons. Removing carbon from the atmosphere (power plant downside) is much harder to do than breeding birds or carefully choosing a building site. Some wind turbine plants have been experimenting with different ways to prevent this from happening too, for example, location is a big one. Eagles prefer areas with high wind currents.

      Some countries are better for wind turbines than others, having more wind and far fewer birds that fly in the same areas. Setting up a worldwide power system could be the solution.

      I am a strong believer in self-sufficient living. Having a small wind turbine of your roof is going to have far less of an impact on the birds than large wind farms. They will be at a far lower level, where smaller birds fly. These smaller birds are easier to replenish and have less impact on the environment that birds at the top of the food chain.

      As you can see, there is no perfect fit. To find a solution we must look at the pros and cons of each option. Hopefully, our world leaders will work together on this more in the future but for now, finding our solution is probably the best option.

      Thank you for reading.

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