The sun provides wind energy. Hot air rises when solar radiation heats the earth’s surface, and cold air fills the spaces. Wind energy is the term used to describe the movement of air. Wind energy refers to wind that has been harnessed through mechanical means.
Most of us are aware of wind’s destructive potential when unleashed in susceptible regions. Wind, on the other hand, is a vital source of kinetic energy. Wind energy has been harnessed by humans for ages. The magnificent windmills softly rotating among brilliant tulip fields in Holland are well-known. Windmills have long been used to pump water or grind grain, and they continue to do so today. Modern windmills that use a wind turbine, on the other hand, can generate power.
The majority of modern wind turbines have a horizontal axis. Hundreds of feet in the air, these turbines are positioned on a tall tower to capture the quicker and less turbulent wind. The blades, which resemble propellers and are normally two or three in number, work similarly to airplane wings. They’re attached to a rotor that functions similarly to an airplane propeller. The rotor spins due to a combination of (air) lift and drag on the blades. A shaft connected to the rotor rotates a generator, which generates energy. The amount of power generated is determined by the size of the wind turbine and the wind resource’s quality. In the right location, a normal 2-megawatt turbine can provide enough electricity to power about 500 ordinary houses for a year.
As previously stated, a single windmill can be utilized to pump water, grind grain, charge batteries, provide extra energy, and communicate. A power grid for an electricity provider, known as a utility, can be connected to several windmills. Photovoltaic (solar cell) systems are sometimes integrated with wind turbines.
Wind farms, often known as wind plants, are clusters of wind turbines constructed near together. Wind farms are producing more and more energy in countries like the United States and China. In March 2015, it was stated that China generates more electricity from wind than it does from nuclear power facilities, which it has more of than any other country. Despite lower wind speeds in 2014, China’s wind farms generated enough electricity to power over 110 million homes! Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy reports that the country now has a wind power capacity of 65,879 megawatts. Wind power generated 4.13 percent of all electricity in the United States in 2013, making it the country’s fifth largest source of electricity. The amount of electricity generated was enough to power 15.5 million homes.
Some energy experts believe that if we could harness just a percent of the available wind energy, we would no longer need any other source of electricity!
The following are some of the *benefits* of wind energy:
- It merely needs wind to function.
- It is regarded as a renewable energy source. It does not pollute the environment.
- It is a household energy source.
- It’s a resource that’s renewable and has a lot of promise.
- Unlike other power sources, wind turbines just need to be maintained on a regular basis.
- Homeowners and companies can build up their own power networks and even sell electricity to their communities using wind power because it is accessible and affordable.
- Wind turbines take up very little space. Farmers can also rent their land for wind farms while remaining farming the land.
When it comes to wind energy, there are certain *cons*:
- Wind energy isn’t seen to be dependable. It is a source of energy that fluctuates.
- Wind-generated electricity must be stored (i.e. batteries).
- Wildlife such as birds and bats may be harmed by wind turbines.
- The environmental impact of deforestation to build a wind farm is significant.
- Many wind farms near communities have received complaints about noise.
- Some individuals dislike wind farms because they are unattractive.
The majority of studies on the negative impacts of wind turbines on animals have been scattered and conducted primarily by proponents of wind energy. Recently, the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC) evaluated “Peer-reviewed studies found evidence of bird and bat collisions with wind turbines. Changes in air pressure induced by whirling turbines also resulted in deaths and injuries. The NWCC came to the conclusion that “These effects are minor and do not constitute a threat to the survival of species. Wildlife organizations, on the other hand, have a tendency to disagree. Thousands of rare and endangered bird species, including the golden eagle, have been damaged or killed by wind turbines.
Wind turbines have been subjected to mitigation measures in order to lessen their impact on animals. Better wind turbine siting in places with lesser wildlife populations is one example. Another option is to retrofit older turbines with wildlife-friendly features like flaps that prevent birds from flying into the rotors. In addition, several wind farms that are positioned along migratory pathways are shutting down during the migration of birds and bats. At this point, it’s unknown whether any or all of these strategies are effective. Researchers are still trying to figure out how to reduce the impact of wind turbines on wildlife as the wind energy industry grows and expands.
Projects for discussion and research:
- Wind energy appears to be a fantastic alternative energy source! However, the impact on wildlife and the environment is also significant. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages presented above, and ask students to come up with potential solutions. They should have access to more information than we could fit into this paper.
- Where are all of the wind farms in the United States and the rest of the world today? What factors went into the selection of those locations?
- Have your pupils calculate how many wind turbines would be required to power their hometown using the information from the article. They’ll need to collect data and decide on a design.
- Horizontal axis turbines were mentioned in the article. Vertical axis turbines are less prevalent than horizontal axis turbines. Find out what they are, where they are, and what their benefits and drawbacks are.
- How do people use other alternative energy sources, such as water, solar, wave, and geothermal, in addition to wind?
Younger children can construct a simple paper windmill that functions similarly to a wind turbine.
This wind turbine is simple to operate:
For older grades, here’s a PVC wind turbine:
Why can’t wind energy be stored?
On a well-run power system, that always has the greatest fuel/running cost, while wind blows for free and has no fuel/running cost, hence wind is never stored unless there are no other plants on line, i.e. wind power is stored last.
Why isn’t wind power the solution?
Wind energy isn’t the answer to climate change worries, and it can’t keep up with the demands of the modern American economy. To make a significant contribution to America’s energy needs, hundreds of thousands of wind turbines would be required.
Are there any drawbacks to using wind turbines?
Wind is a clean, renewable energy source that is also one of the most cost-effective ways to generate electricity. On the negative side, wind turbines can be noisy and unattractive aesthetically, and they can sometimes have a negative impact on the physical environment. Wind power, like solar power, is intermittent, which means that turbines are dependent on the weather and hence aren’t capable of generating electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What are the three drawbacks of wind energy?
- Wind energy is turned into usable electricity by wind turbines, which are turned by the movement of wind that then spins a generator.
- Wind energy has several advantages: it does not emit greenhouse gases, it is renewable, it is space-efficient, it produces inexpensive energy, and it encourages employment growth.
- Wind energy has a number of drawbacks, including its unpredictability, the damage it poses to animals, the low-level noise it produces, the fact that it is not visually beautiful, and the fact that there are only a few areas ideal for wind turbines.
- The wind business has developed significantly over the last few decades, and it appears that this trend will continue.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy?
Wind Energy’s Benefits and Drawbacks
- 2) One of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy.
- 3) Technological advancements.
- 4) Doesn’t cause farmland operations to be disrupted.
- 5) It lessens our reliance on fossil fuels.
- 1) Some wildlife may be endangered.
- 3) Expensive Initial Investment.
Why don’t we always use renewable energy?
Why don’t we always use renewable energy? We can’t store wind and sunlight like we can natural gas or coal to utilize when we need extra electricity. When the wind stops blowing or the sun hides behind clouds, there isn’t always enough power to go around.
Is it possible to store solar and wind energy?
The energy stored in lead batteries is used by solar and wind installations to reduce power fluctuations and boost reliability in order to offer on-demand power. To assure a consistent supply of electricity to millions of homes and businesses, they store excess energy when demand is low and release it when demand is high.
Many of the 1 billion people who live in remote places without access to a power grid use lead batteries in small-scale hydroelectric systems to supply important, clean energy for communications, refrigeration, and other uses.
Why isn’t wind energy the way of the future?
On the planet, there are 11.3 billion hectares of ecologically productive land and marine space. Deserts, ice caps, and deep seas, which make up the other three-quarters of the earth’s surface, support relatively low levels of bio-productivity that are too dispersed to be collected. It is at the expense of food and textile production, which is not accounted for in the plans.
Despite the fact that food production is more efficient, the dangers of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which harm the world’s food supply, are rarely highlighted. Each year, 250,000 agricultural laborers in India commit suicide as a result of the harm caused by agricultural chemicals. Chemical pesticides are used in agriculture, which are harmful to both animals and people. These compounds contain strong carbon bonds that keep working even after they’ve been used. Rainwater cleans the soil, but because pesticides are employed on a regular basis, the water is unable to remove poisons found in food production. Each year, more than 40 million people die as a result of diseases caused by chemicals that, over time, lead to chronic illnesses like cancer.
What about recycling wind power materials?
However, most of a turbine may be recycled or used in other wind farms, and researchers anticipate that over the next 20 years, the United States will have more than 720,000 tons of turbine material to dispose of. This figure excludes newer and more advanced models. There are no viable options for recycling turbine blades, and those that do exist are prohibitively expensive, especially given the industry’s youth. The existence of a waste problem runs counter to past environmentalists’ beliefs.
It’s all about short-term profits, which is controlled by an energy sector that will eventually be known as Big Wind, with lobbying and corruption widely documented. Wind energy is a lovely source of “clean energy,” according to the tagline. The truth is that government subsidies and requirements are driving the growth of wind energy. Because wind energy takes too much land, it cannot and will not meet a major portion of future energy needs. According to Miller and Keith’s research, the goal of 100% renewable energy, and particularly the idea of wind energy as a substantial contributor to meeting that goal, is a dead end.