We often hear a lot about the negative aspects of wind generation and although these won’t be repeated here, they are certainly arguments that should be weighed in an assessment of wind power generation, nevertheless. This article, as the title suggests, is focusing on the positives of wind energy and the benefits it can bring.
Wind power is an increasingly prevalent source of renewable energy and its use continues to grow. Though recent figures have shown solar to be adding more new capacity to the grid than wind in recent years, areas with the right geographical conditions which aren’t yet fully developed will continue to see wind turbines be deployed.
The obvious benefit of wind generation is that it is a clean, low-cost source of energy. Of course there are costs of building and maintaining the wind power infrastructure, but generators are able to produce electricity much more cheaply than with so-called conventional power generation sources.
An often overlooked benefit of wind energy is also that it does not require any water in the power generation process. Thermal power plants typically use steam to generate electricity and require large amounts of water for that purpose, as well as cooling.
Wind energy does not work on the same principles as thermal power plants. Therefore, turbines can be built away from bodies of water and there is less environmental impact to watersheds and waterways. Not to mention the benefits for drought-stricken areas and areas with water shortages.
Wind turbines can also be spread out and their footprints are a lot smaller for each individual wind turbine, than a large-scale power generation facility. This means that wind turbines are easier to deploy and not impact the other uses of the land in the immediate area. Of course, this applies mainly to farm lands and not urban, or residential lands.
With many wind farms still being developed there’s a clear path forward which all too often is met with resistance. Many of the advantages are perhaps not as tangible to most of the population, whereas the disadvantages seem to have a greater direct impact. Hopefully this won’t stop the future development from keeping pace, though.