Pros of Wind Energy

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pros(a)           Climate change Mitigation

It is evident that the burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane while some greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere naturally. The emission of greenhouse to the extent that the natural process of the earth cannot contain them as led to increase in greenhouse concentration in the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases have also overwhelmed carbon sequestration by plants and hence there is increased temperature in the surface of the earth.  This increased warming of the surface of the earth and the atmosphere is known as global warming or global climate change. Research indicates that the resultant effects of global climate change as result of combustion of fossil fuel include rise of sea levels, melting of glaciers, change in rainfall patterns and increased incidences of catastrophic storms. Wind energy is therefore a perfect remedy for climate change for it is an alternative energy source that does not emit any greenhouse gases (Fitzgerald & Voege, 2010).

(b)           Renewable Energy source

Wind energy is a renewable source of energy and it can be harnessed as long as the person or a country wishes without running into depletion. Just as highlighted above under history of wind energy, the use of wind power started over a thousand of years ago and it is still being used. The energy from wind is eternal and cannot be exhausted unlike other energy sources like fossil fuels which are non renewable. Since wind is produced by variations in atmospheric temperatures, rotation of the earth, the effects of land and sea and differentials in weather patterns, wind will continue to be produced forever and it will never run out. The inexhaustible nature of wind makes it a potential alternative energy source and hence it can help to diversify the energy sources of a country (Asplund, 2008). The current fossil fuels that many countries use for energy production are depleted while wind energy is not as it is in abundance.

(c)            Clean, safe and Pollution Free

Wind energy produces a clean and safe fuel as it does not produce air or water pollution. This is because during the production of wind energy there is no combustion of fossil fuel and hence no toxic or poisonous gases are released into the environment. Wind energy is also safe because it contributes to the reduction of health risks that are associated with other conventional energy sources. For example burning of fossil fuels results in soot pollution and it estimated that pollution from coal fired plants account for 23,000 premature deaths in the United States every year.  The only death that has been recorded in relation to wind energy production was when a German skydiver flew off course and parachuted into a wind plant (Fitzgerald & Voege, 2010). Apart from lung disorders such as asthma and bronchitis that are related to fossil fuel combustion, the emission of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides from coal and oil combustion has some serious environmental effects. When the sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides mix with atmospheric water and air, they form sulfuric acid and nitric acid which later fall as acid rain. Wind power is therefore a pollutant free energy source and hence Eco- friendly.

(d)           Surrounding Land is Usable

The setting up of wind turbines for energy production is normally done over an extensive geographical area. Since wind turbines are usually large and tall structures, they are normally spaced wide apart from each other in the wind farms. As a result, there is usually large tract of land between the wind turbines which can be used for other purposes. The wind generation land can be used for agricultural purposes such as farming or for livestock grazing. Furthermore farmers can lease out their lands for wind power generation and obtain additional income while still carrying out agricultural activities on such lands.  Wind towers can offer a substitute income for oil depleted wells as evident in Texas where many farms are turning to wind towers as the solution (Asplund, 2008).

(e)            Economical

Wind energy is economical because it is free and also it has low operational and maintenance costs compared to power from fossil fuels. Although the initial cost for installing wind turbines is higher than fossil fuel generators, the operation and maintenance costs for wind farms are lower than those for fossil fuel power plant. For example the operating and maintenance costs for wind farms commissioned between 2000 and 2005 was only 0.85 cents per Kilowatt-hour while for fossil fuel power plants it was 0.81 cents per Kilowatt-hour with exclusion of fossil fuel purchase costs. Wind energy therefore does not have expenses for fuel purchase during its operational phase and also has minimal operating and maintenance expenses. Wind power can reduce the reliance of countries to foreign oil imports and also help to reduce the health and environmental costs that are caused by pollution. Wind energy is hence a more economical alternative energy source for worldwide power generation than from fossil fuels that are costly to produce (European Wind Energy Association, 2009).

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