Why Wind Power Works

Posted on January 2nd, 2011 by

Renewable energy has proven to be effective, and is here to stay in the United States.  Specifically, wind generation has been in the United States for over 20 years and continues to grow at exponential rates.  Wind energy is becoming more visible to the public with the 20/20 initiative (20 percent of the United States’ electricity coming from renewable resources by 2012), television commercials, and the recent extended Renewable Tax Credits.

Wind power works for some of the same reasons as fossil fuels, but, more importantly, because it has many characteristics that fossil fuels do not have.

First, wind energy is a renewable energy resource of which we have unlimited supplies.  Actions do not have to be taken to conserve wind as a resource, and building more wind farms does not affect the supply.  Another positive of the renewable energy source is that it does not release harmful pollution and carbons into the atmosphere.

Second, the cost of producing wind energy is competitive with natural gas and other generation methods.  The cost of wind energy over the past decade has been reduced dramatically just as the industry started to grow at exponential rates.  The availability of the wind turbines to produce energy is close to 99 percent, which is comparable with the availability of coal and gas.  Remember, the resource we use is FREE!

Third, wind energy has had a positive impact on the local economics and is influential in new Greenfield factories in the United States.  During the construction phase of a wind farm, a few hundred to thousands of jobs can be created in the local community.  With the influx of workers, the local economy will benefit during the construction phase as well as once the farm has started to generate electricity.  Many of the European turbines manufacturers have invested in new factories in the United States.  Along with creating additional jobs and fueling the local economy, these multi-million and billion dollar investments show the world is committed to wind energy in the United States and the large companies are here to stay.

Last, the infrastructure is currently being put in place to allow for future expansion of the wind industry.  Transmission lines are in the construction phase to allow for more wind generation capacity in already established locations and for new wind farms to be built in new locations.  The transmission lines deliver the power from remote wind parks to the large metropolitan areas, thus making the large urban populations dependant upon wind energy for a source of power.

Many contributing factors go into what makes wind energy work.  As long as the environment is a concern, the government helps to subsidize the large investment of a wind farm, jobs are created, and infrastructure is in place, wind energy will work and continue to spread throughout the United States and globally.

Written by Paul Idziak, Shermco Industries

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One Person has left comments on this post

» Tomaz said: { Jan 2, 2011 - 02:01:19 }

Well, though you have put quite good remarks on positive side of the wind I believe, like most of the RES enthusiast missing additional cost wind are causing.

Though I like the idea of wind energy without any CO2, low price per installed kW, we have to be realistic. The first step would to take into account effective kW – only for the [realistic] hours the wind turbine will be producing hours and [realistic] power. At the moment, I believe this is not even half of the installed capacity in the most projects.

Secondly, the price of the transmission lines to the offshore wind turbines are usually not in the project cost, as they are burden of transmission system operator. The cost of such [usually underwater] lines are skyrocketing the project with each km father from the shore.

Thirdly, the wind power is quite unstable and for normal operation where the wind power would represent majority of the power production an electricity storages are a must. Again this would enormously increased the prices of the projects.

And at the end, in Europe Wind is causing big problems to the stability of the network. Improvements are needed on this layer of energy as well.

Not saying I am against the wind production, actually quite contrary, I am looking forward to such future. BUT! The facts which are presented nowadays are not presenting the whole picture. The wind power is much more immature that most of us are presenting to the public.

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