Wind Energy Pros And Cons

Linda asks…

what are some pros and cons of using wind energy?

Windmill Farms answers:

1. It is a naturally generated feedstock for energy.
2. There are large areas of land where it can be harvested with a minimal usage fee by land owners.
3. It is a very direct conversion from wind to electricity without intermediate energy conversions.

1. Large amounts of land are consumed in its development. Private landowners will demand and receive very large compensation cheques for land usage. This has 2 effects 1) less incentive to grow food 2) greater and escalating costs for the electricity as a product (diseconomy of scale).
2. It has environmental side effects for both birds (wind turbines) and humans (noise pollution).
3. It requires a transformation of the electrical grid, as does solar, to a DC oriented Transmission system (I am not an electrical engineer so I may have that reversed but the conversion is apparently necessary).
4. It would require, as with solar, primary sources of energy such as coal power plants or nuclear or hydro power which generate “on demand and continuous” power, as opposed to the intermittent power of wind and solar, to be “backed out”. Who wants to be they guy that gets his source of energy to be backed out of the electrical grid so as to allow another competing form to artificially go ahead of him for delivery? This would require an entirely socialist government that cares little about private capital investment. Only the tax payer or state would be there to invest in the energy business, nobody else would!

**Most places that have or have a proposed wind farm on the books suffer from a bad case of NIMBY. Point in case is the Kennedy family objection to a wind farm in the ocean off of THEIR back yard! Any place with tourism flow will protest vigorously.
Boone Pickens proposal for “the Saudi Arabia” of wind has from what I see, one fatal flaw – It is also the “Saudi Arabia of Agriculture”.

Solar is a far preferable mechanism IMO. There should be a very loud cry to government for a cogent Land Use Policy, before any large scale development can occur. That should take about 10 years (if you want to get it right).

Lisa asks…

what is wind energy i need pros and cons?

i need pros an cons

Windmill Farms answers:

Wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator.

Wind power consumes no fuel for continuing operation.

Wind energy is ample, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces toxic atmospheric and greenhouse gas emissions if used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity.

An estimated 1% to 3% of energy from the Sun.
Can be used for Household generation.

Because it uses energy already present in the atmosphere, and can displace fossil-fuel generated electricity (with its accompanying carbon dioxide emissions), wind power mitigates global warming.

Some onshore and near-shore windmills kill birds, especially birds of prey.

Some residents near onshore and near-shore windmills complain of “shadow flicker,” which is the alternating pattern of sun and shade caused by a rotating windmill casting a shadow over residences.

Steven asks…

Pros and Cons of wind energy?

as much detail as possible, not just facts, website links too. Thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

Well the biggest Con of course is that you must have wind to move your generator, and not just a little wind, but about 20 mile per hour wind to generate aprox. 300 watts of power with 6′ blades on your generator.
If the blades are any smaller, it just takes too much wind to move them. Of course this also brings up the issue of space. You will need enough open space to put your Wind Generator where the wind can get too it.
Other issues you will have with Wind Generators is maintenance. The Generator has moving parts, which for the most part are exposed to the elements, so routine greasing, and checking of the system is a must.
On the Pro side, it’s free energy. If you live in a area where you will get sufficient wind, you can easily maintain a good charge on a bank of batteries. Also, if you have a little bit of construction talent you can build your own wind generator for around $200. In supplies, maybe less if you can find salvage parts.

Two good sources of information:

Lizzie asks…

Does anybody know the pros and cons for coal energy wind energy and pumped storage energy?

Also could anybody provide me with a detailed conclusion as to which of these energy sources would be best to supply England’s electricity needs comparing all 3 to each other weighing up the pros and cons.I will give best answer to most detailed and helpful answer.Thanx in advance

Windmill Farms answers:

PROS— Coal = cheap fuel and plenty of it, large amounts of electricity can be generated per plant.
Wind = No fuel cost, no pollution.
Pumped storage = instant energy for load topping.
CONS—Coal = lots of pollution, CO2 and dust, ash and causes acid rain.
Wind = need lots of them to generate large amounts of power, output not consistent due to weather, visual impact.
Pumped storage = Very limited output time wise before you run out of water, uses approx. 30% more electricity than it produces .

Out of the 3 above only coal can produce the amount of electricity required in the UK, the Wind power is useful to supply power to more remote areas, ie Scotland & Wales. Pumped storage is a no starter because you need more power to run it than what you get out, it is only useful for peak load leveling.

If you want to see a Pumped storage site go to either Loch Awe, Scotland, or Dinorwig in Wales, both run tours.

Mark asks…

pros and cons of wind power?

Windmill Farms answers:

Pros: no pollution, don’t need to continuously order raw materials to burn, relatively quiet and many people are willing to live near a wind farm (but not many are willing to live near a coal or gas plant). Unless they’re stupid politicians and the wind farm is blocking the view from the window of their McMansion, then they don’t want to live near a wind farm, they just want to punish “evil big oil” and “evil coal,” while pretending they actually want green energy. Because there are no raw materials to continuously order, the only upkeep costs are to replace parts that wear out, and the world will never run out of wind so we don’t need to worry about shortages in power.

Cons: power generation is relatively inconsistent since wind speeds vary, and you can’t up the power output during peak time, and you can’t cut down on power output during times when little power is being used, so a lot of potential power is wasted. Relatively little power output per land area used. Power transmission from wind farms is not in an ideal form — the grid in the US is 3-phase 60Hz AC (voltage varies by transmission stage), and adding to the grid requires that power output be in exactly the same phase as the line it is being transmitted to, and that is difficult to do with wind power (what they do is they generate the power in DC, then run it through huge expensive inverters to put it on the grid in the proper phase. A phase locked loop would be far too expensive and would wear out far too quickly to use to lock wind power to the grid).

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