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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Advantages and disadvantages of wind energy

Wind energy is a renewable energy source that is often complemented by photovoltaic solar energy to generate electricity. The advantages associated with the use of wind energy are greatly helping its growth and implementation in many countries.

However, some of the disadvantages that it has discourage its implementation under certain conditions.

Next, we expose the main advantages and disadvantages involved in the production of electrical energy through the wind.

Advantages of Wind Energy

The main advantages of this energy source are:

1. It Is a Renewable Energy

Wind energy is an inexhaustible energy, that is, taking advantage of the wind does not imply that it ends. For this reason, this type of energy is considered a renewable energy source.

2. Respectful of the Environment

Wind energy is considered as clean energy that does not emit polluting particles as it happens with thermal power plants that use fossil fuels.

The use of this renewable energy does not contribute to the greenhouse effect or global warming of the Earth. Due to the absence of any type of polluting residue, it does not alter the composition of the aquifers in the area.

3. Low Danger of Accidents

Wind generators do not present any danger or cause harm to people.

Especially if we compare it with nuclear energy, in which in the event of an atomic accident the consequences for the population are very serious.

4. Energy Autonomy

Practically everywhere in the world there is wind. As with solar energy, this means that each region does not need to import energy from other countries or fuel to generate it.

5. Easy Installation and Removal

A wind farm is much easier to install and uninstall than a hydroelectric plant, or a thermoelectric plant (coal or nuclear).

6. Economic

The cost of producing electricity per kilowatt using the force of the wind is low compared to other energy sources. In the economic sense, in many cases it can compete with coal and even nuclear energy. In addition, the initial investment is much less than a steam power plant.

7. Compatibility with Other Activities

Because the installation of wind turbines uses a reduced surface of soil at its base, it allows the installation of a wind farm to be compatible with other activities such as agriculture and livestock.

In the case of offshore wind turbines, the visual impact is minimized.

Disadvantages of Wind Energy

The installation of a wind farm has some disadvantages that in some cases can make the project unviable.

1. Intermittence

The energy obtained depends on the force of the wind which is variable. Therefore, if you want to plan the electricity production of the future, it can only be done in a statistical way.

2. Storage Difficulty

In large wind farms it is not feasible to store the energy generated. Therefore, the energy must be consumed immediately.

3. Limitation on Wind Intensity

Wind turbines can only operate with wind speeds between 10 and 40 km / h. 

If the wind speed is less than 10 km / h, the operation of the wind turbine is not profitable. On the other hand, at speeds above 40 km / h the windmill must be stopped for safety reasons. put

4. Cost of Energy Transport Infrastructure

Usually the location of wind farms is chosen based on meteorological criteria. This implies that important electricity transmission infrastructures often have to be built. These large facilities, in addition to the economic cost, imply a loss of energy.

One drawback of wind power is that a large number of wind turbines have to be installed for a wind farm to be profitable. This is because the ratio of kilowatt obtained per swept area of ​​the windmill blades is low.

5. Visual Impact

The construction of wind farms has an aesthetic impact on the landscape. The need to search for windy locations means that windmills are installed in open and elevated areas and therefore have the disadvantage of being highly visible.

6. Acoustic Impact

Running wind turbines are noisy. The mechanical movement and the blades hitting the wind emit sound.

7. Environmental Impact

In the environmental context, many birds collide with the rotating blades in mid-flight causing their death.

Although the angular velocity of the mills is not very high, the linear velocity of the tips is enormous.

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Published: April 10, 2019
Last review: October 2, 2021