The Pros & Cons of Wind Power
The human harnessing of wind power dates back centuries. Although it was originally used for crushing grains and pumping water, today it is used to generate electricity and power our cities. Below, we will take a closer look into this type of energy, including its advantages and disadvantages, and what you should consider if you’re thinking of switching to wind power.
Microgeneration Wind Power:
You’ve probably seen the tall white turbines along the countryside while driving to the cottage or the lake. These turbines take the kinetic energy of the blowing wind and turn it into mechanical energy, rotating the turbine’s blades. This motion, in turn, allows the generator to create electrical currents that we can use to power our homes, offices, and other facilities.
However, did you know that these aren’t the only kinds of turbines around? Turbines can be all shapes and sizes; it all depends on the location and use. More commonly, turbines operate on a horizontal axis. However, they can also work on a vertical axis (pictured above).
As for sizing, it all depends on what the turbines are expected to power. Residential or micro-generation turbines are much smaller (ours only weighs 37kg), whereas industrial ones are much larger (the blades can be as long as 137ft alone). Large turbines can also be set up on-land or off-shore depending on the wind available in the area.
Wind energy is a clean, unlimited renewable energy source that is available for free around the world. Wind power is clean energy, which is remarkably better than fossil fuels which currently power most of Canada. It creates no waste and does not contaminate our atmosphere or water systems. While being a clean energy source, wind energy is available all year round even in extreme weather conditions. This point is especially good in Canada, where wind power can operate efficiently throughout the country.
Economically, the wind industry is expanding creating more jobs than ever before. Jobs involve manufacturing, setting up, and maintaining wind turbine systems. In general, once the turbines are built, they are very low-cost to run and maintain making them more economically friendly than other energy sources. This is because wind energy is now the lowest cost option for new electricity generation in Canada. Click the link to learn more about wind energy and its low costs.
Wind energy may be the lowest cost option for new electricity generation, but it can also pair well with other renewable sources to make hybrid systems. Wind turbines and solar panels working in tandem create large amounts of renewable energy that can significantly reduce carbon emissions. Using two renewable energy sources and greatly reduces your reliance on grid energy protecting you in case of blackouts or grid disconnects. Wind turbine systems specifically can be a good backup source of electricity since they can produce energy all year round with no need for the sun. Wind energy is great for the environment and can also help the user experience huge savings on their electricity bills.
The main cons to wind power include the upfront cost, the subpar aesthetics, the danger to wildlife, and the noise. All these points are valid, but let’s deconstruct them. The upfront cost of a residential wind turbine is similar to that of setting up solar panels for a single home. The cost of the turbine will depend on its size and capacity but once an initial cost is made, the setup and maintenance costs are small. Aesthetically, many people may be concerned with the visual and auditory effects that wind turbines have on their surrounding areas. This may be a valid point for those opposed to large structures, however, those who think the turbine will be too loud are mistaken. Home wind turbines such as Anorra are not much louder than a microwave, meaning it will be very hard to hear over the noises of nature. Check out this blog post to learn more.
The other two cons of wind turbines include the danger to wildlife and the wind turbine's inability to produce energy with very low wind speeds. Many people may think wind turbines kill any animal that flies but that is far from the truth. Glass buildings and vehicles are about 1,000 times worse for birds than wind turbines with the average bird fatalities per hour being 24,487 and 68,379, respectively. Finally, some may be concerned with wind turbine's inability to produce energy with wind speeds lower than 14.4 km/h. Indeed, some areas may not have the necessary wind speeds to make turbines viable, but Canada is a windy country with average speeds being much higher than this threshold. This can be seen here.
Thinking of Switching to Wind Power?
Wind power is the perfect alternative to fossil fuels if you live in a rural or remote location. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll be helping our planet out and living more sustainably. Micro-generation wind turbines can be easily set up, attached to batteries, and power your Canadian home all year long - as we all know, the wind here never stops. If you think that making the switch to wind power, you should consider purchasing an Anorra from Borrum Energy Solutions. Our team is located in Ontario, all of our designs and parts are Canadian-made, and everything is created with Canadians in mind. Hit three birds with one stone: support local, live sustainably, and save money.