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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power

Wind power is the process of converting wind energy into electricity. Climate change scientists believe that wind power, combined with other renewable energy sources (such as solar), is one way to help solve global warming. This post will consider the pros and cons of wind power.

Advantages (Pros):

  • Wind energy is plentiful and renewable.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions, as less fossil fuels and coal need to be burned.
  • Clean and environmentally friendly. No pollutants are emitted.
  • Very good for people in remote areas who are not connected to an electrical grid.
  • Very few costs once installed.
  • Many parts of the world have lots of wind.
  • Many people claim that the wind turbines are a danger to birds, but studies have shown that very few birds are killed by the turbines.
  • The area surrounding the turbines can still be used for farming.
  • Unlike nuclear and fossil fuel power plants, water is not needed for cooling or generating electricity.

Disadvantages (Cons):

  • Wind speed constantly changes throughout the day, and some days there is no wind. No electricity can be produced unless there is wind!
  • Manufacturing wind turbines requires steel, concrete and aluminum. These things require lots of electricity to produce, so some carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) will be released into the atmosphere (along with some other pollutants). It takes about 9 months of operation before the wind turbine becomes carbon neutral (saves the amount of greenhouse gases as is required to make it).
  • They are very large and lots of people think that they are an eye-sore.
  • Generating electricity for turbines makes a lot of noise. Hence, wind turbines cannot be built near populations of people.
  • Most windy areas are near coastlines, where land is the most valuable.
  • Fairly expensive to build.
  • The turbines pose a significant danger to bats which migrating during spring and fall.
  • Leaking oils from old turbines may enter water systems and contaminate them.
  • Sediment from turbines may pollute water and kill fish.

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