The Pros and Cons of New Wind Energy Inventions
The potential of wind to product energy has led to new wind energy inventions that improve current methods of creating power from the kinetic energy of wind. Wind has always captured our imagination.
Many of our songs and reading materials often mention wind in passing. A song tells you to "ride like the wind" and stories mention "wind in her hair" or "gentle breezes". Every person on earth has experienced the cooling power of a breeze on hot day or the bitter wind that rips through our clothing during a winter storm.
We know the power of the wind and new wind energy inventions capture our imagination. Wind farms have been built in several areas of the country. Some people see this as a graceful tower with blades slowly turning in the wind while others see them as a blight on the land.
Wind farms have been built offshore where land does not have to be sacrificed and where ocean breezes are constantly whipping over the waves. These water based wind farms do not damage the environment and they do produce energy for use of homes and businesses located near the shore.
Wind vs Solar
When you consider natural energy sources such as wind energy and solar power, the power produced depends on the natural conditions present. Solar panels work amazingly well in many locations of the country. They don't work well in areas where cloud cover routinely blocks sunlight several days a week.
Creating power by harnessing the power of our natural environment requires working with the environment. Wind energy is no exception. A wind turbine is not effective in an area where the air is often still and quiet. Across the plains or near large bodies of water the natural flow of our atmosphere creates wind day after day. These areas are the choice for wind farms.
Traditional Power Sources
Fossil fuels have provided our energy for generations. Coal, oil and natural gas were plentiful and easy to access. Prices were low and we could force our will on fossil fuels to create energy to power our homes, businesses and transportation.
The cost of fossil fuels has risen as we have put limits on the damage allowed to the environment when mining coal or drilling for oil. These protections are necessary but costly. We also have an increasing awareness that fossil fuels are not an unlimited resource.
The political unrest in some parts of the world have added to the unease about what use of fossil fuel energy is doing to the earth's environment. Strip mining of coal has left some states with ugly, bare gashes in the earth where hills and mountains were removed to get to rich coal veins.
Plants and wildlife on shores and in the oceans have been badly damaged by spills from oil rigs and from tankers used to ship oil from one country to another. The cost of energy production has risen and put a burden of higher costs on consumers and businesses. A new era of concern for the damage our lifestyles are having on the natural environment has led to increased calls for less invasive power sources.
Use of solar and wind energy require a total shift in how we look at our power requirements. Electric cars are environmentally friendly but they are costly and do not have the power we are accustomed to. The public may ask for fuel efficient and alternate energy vehicles but, in truth, the cars don't sell well.
New wind energy inventions focus on improving the style and function of the tower and turbines used to harness the power of invisible wind. Currently, wind farms are large number of huge towers topped by large turbines with blades used to capture the wind. The cost of producing wind turbines is huge while the manufacturing process carries its own environmental hazards.
Amount of Land
The amount of land needed to install a wind farm can take many acres and until recently we believed that land could not be used for any other purpose once a wind farm was established. We have learned that is not true.
Today you may see cattle calmly grazing around the base of wind energy towers. When in operation the wind turbines do not produce any gasses or pollutants and they post no danger to livestock grazing at their base.
New wind energy inventions focus on improving the efficiency of wind turbines and studying the placement and height required to create power. The production of wind energy is less advanced than the solar industry today but the potential of wind energy is astounding.
The future of wind as a practical source of electricity will depend on technology leading to new wind energy inventions that will be less expensive to install and will produce electricity sufficient to warrant dedicating the resources needed to build additional wind farms.