Wind energy, advantages and disadvantages. Let's try to summarize, on this page, what are the advantages and disadvantages of exploiting wind energy.
Wind energy, advantages and disadvantages: the advantages can be summarized by underlining how a safe and clean technology can be able to produce electricity with relatively low costs per kWh produced. As well as the advantages, the disadvantages can also be summarized to the maximum by referring to the acoustic and aesthetic impact and the alleged impact that wind turbines they would have on nocturnal avifauna.
Wind energy, advantages
Wind energy is a renewable source that uses a mature technology but still sees different prospects for improvement. Among the main advantages we mention:
- - wind power is a valid source of renewable energy. Untie electricity generation from fossil fuels. Wind is an abundant, inexhaustible source available in many places around the globe.
- - Unlike the photovoltaic, a wind farm occupies a smaller area.
- - Wind power is a clean energy source with a low environmental impact. It does not produce toxic gases and the wind turbines themselves can face a very long life cycle before being destined for disposal.
- - Awind power plantit is reversible, which means that the surface occupied by the park can be easily restored to renew the pre-existing territory.
- - The costs of the wind power plant and turbine maintenance are relatively low. A cost per kW produced, in very windy areas, is quite low.
Wind energy, disadvantages
There are conditions for a wind farm to guarantee profits and generate clean energy. In case of large wind turbines, it is necessary that the wind has a regular direction and exceeds 12 km / h to ensure a certain production of electricity. You might be interested in reading the article "how a wind turbine works ".
Putting aside the technicalities that must be resolved with careful planning and installation of the system, it is possible to list the disadvantages of a wind farm in three points.
- The wind, as well as the atmospheric conditions, is relatively unpredictable so it is not possible to accurately estimate a return on investment plan.
- The big oneswind farmsthey have a strong landscape impact and are visible from great distances. The average height ofwind turbinesof the large plants oscillates between 50 - 80 meters with rotating blades that rise vertically for another 40 meters. It is important to emphasize that the impact on the landscape is not a disadvantage felt by everyone.To aggravate the landscape impact is the greater convenience of installation. Generally, the wind blows stronger on the coasts, in the hilly areas and in the mountains, which is why a wind farm "would go " to deface a landscape asset. We emphasize "it should" because there are many photographers, artists and communities who support wind power by stating that turbines have no negative visual impact, not even on coastal or rocky landscapes.
- Wind power plants can have a negative impact on local birds, especially among nocturnal birds of prey. The impact on birds is dictated by the rotating blades that move up to a speed of 70 km per hour. Birds are unable to visually recognize the blades moving so fast that they crash fatally.
Wind energy, research and challenges
Not everyone knows that thewind turbinesthey are all connected together by a series of underground cables. Each wind power plant has a control station (a cabin) that guarantees its connection to the electricity grid. When the wind blows strong in periods of low energy demand, the surplus produced by the plant is difficult to "preserve".
Among the challenges, researchers are developing increasingly efficient accumulators so as to be able to supply the wind energy produced in excess and supply it to the national electricity grid, in periods of highest energy demand. In Germany, a system for storing wind energy in the form of combustible gas was developed to overcome this problem. For all information, please read the article entitled "Energy trio in Germany: wind, hydrogen and biogas". The storage system is very complex but allows the accumulation of wind energy with a good energy yield and without the need for conventional storage batteries.