Why use Wind Power

All About Wind power


You’ve probably seen those giant turbines off in the distance producing wind power. Those spinning blades that seem to be in the middle of nowhere are actually wind farms generating energy from the power of the wind. Wind power is increasing in use every year and has many benefits that will allow it to become a significant source of energy for the UK in years to come. There are some downsides to using wind power, though. Here is some information explaining wind farming and how it can affect you.


What is Wind farming?


The moving wind is actually a source of energy scientists have been able to tap and turn into the same electricity that powers your homes. By building giant towers with propeller blades that are turned by the moving wind, wind power can be captured to generate electricity. You’ll usually see lots of these wind turbines together. Sometimes there are hundreds of these turbines covering hills and other locations with high wind, spinning and generating electricity. While wind power isn’t the primary source of energy for the UK, it has the potential to become a significant source of energy in the coming years.


Benefits of Wind power


Wind power has many positive benefits that affect several different groups of people. Whether you are in a business, are a homeowner or are even just someone looking for a job, the benefits of wind farming could greatly affect you in a good way.

First, the people who own the land where wind turbines are installed (usually farmers and large land owners) get substantial royalties from power companies for letting them use the land. This gives the farmers a sustainable income they can use to subsidize their expenses.

As wind power expands in popularity and use, it will naturally create jobs for people. Positions such as maintenance workers and wind turbine repair workers will provide full-time opportunities for people to find stable work in this difficult economy.

Another big benefit of using wind power is that it has the potential to replace coal as a large power source. This is important because wind power is a clean energy source, having virtually no carbon footprint or negative effect on the atmosphere. It also offsets the cost of oil, gas and coal, further reducing its impact on the environment.

Wind power is a popular source of energy, and many people already trust it. This means new wind farms are more likely to be installed than new nuclear power plants or coal plants. With high public approval, wind farms are easily poised to increase in use and installation.


Negative Effects of Wind power


Even though there are many things that make wind power a positive and effective source of energy, it has its downsides, too. These downsides need to be taken into consideration before wind power can hope to become the main source of power in the UK.

The biggest downside to using wind power to generate electricity is that it’s not completely consistent. Since the wind doesn’t blow at a constant rate at all times, you can’t count on how much energy can be generated by a wind power generator. If the wind suddenly stops for longer than anticipated, the predicted energy goals won’t be met and some people might go without power. Usually wind electric power generators store some of the energy they generate just for these situations, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

The wind speed being too high can also be a problem for wind turbines. If the wind is blowing too fast, the turbines will turn too quickly and can easily break and cause damage or serious harm to people nearby. This means the turbines have to be turned off whenever a wind storm becomes too serious.

Another downside to using wind power is that wind farms take up a lot of space. If land is being used for wind farming, it can’t be used for any other purpose. This is for safety and other reasons. The amount of space they require often has negative environmental impacts as they require forest land to be cleared before they can be built and installed. The flying animals that stay around are at risk for being killed in the spinning turbines, and the other animals in the area are often driven away by the loud noises of the turbines spinning.

Usually, wind farms are placed in locations that people don’t want to be anyway such as on distant hills or even out in the ocean. The offshore wind power farms are only practical if the location of the wind farm is in shallow water, however. Wherever the wind energy industry farm is, however, it’ll take up a lot of space.

Unlike solar power which is entirely benign, commercial wind power turbines can be very dangerous if something goes wrong. The blades on wind turbines are sharp and very heavy, sometimes being a hundred feet long or more. If one of those giant blades breaks off, it can fly through the air at a deadly speed and potentially kill someone. The tall height of wind turbines also means they are basically lightening rods, potentially causing harm to anyone nearby during an electrical storm.

The dangerous aspect of these machines means that they are difficult to safely maintain. When repairmen have to go work on a single turbine in a wind farm, all of the machines have to be turned off for safety. This means the wind farms spend a lot of time not generating power due to the lack of wind, too much wind or some sort of maintenance.

Despite these downsides, wind power is growing in popularity and becoming more and more widespread every year. Even though the cost is prohibitive and not really practical for private homeowners to install wind turbines in their property, wind power could be a good option to replace fossil fuels and provide a renewable energy source. As technology progresses, wind power companies will expand the wind power industry and make wind power one of the most popular sources of energy in the United Kingdom.


wind turbines

A Typical Wind Farm using large wind turbines

Posted on September 8th, 2011 in by JP No Comments

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