Wind energy refers to the power generated with the help of wind that moves the turbine, which converts the motion into mechanical energy. With the employment of generators, this energy converts into electric energy. In the late 19th century, it found application in grounding grains and pumping water. Today, wind energy among other resources fulfil the electricity needs of people. The global warming and rising greenhouse gases in the environment have heightened the tension among every nation of the world. This has led to the pressure from United Nations to move toward renewable sources of energy. And hence, the widespread employment of wind farms, onshore and offshore wind power is creating headlines. At the same time, many countries are dealing with other issues arising from its implementation.
Positive effects of wind energy:
Wind energy constitutes huge long-term benefits.
Wind energy is an efficient alternative to the thermal energy, which utilizes coal for energy production. Being a renewable and clean resource, wind energy will never bump off the earth like fossil fuels. This factor makes wind energy sustainable and significant contributor to the overall energy sector.
Wind energy sector has a huge potential for job creation. The employment generation in several fields includes manufacturing of wind turbines, installation of the system, and placing transmission lines and submarine pipes where necessary. And the formal sector job includes proper maintenance and regulation including transportation and issuing tenders.
Diminishes economy turbulence
At present, a majority of countries fulfil their energy needs by exploiting non-renewable resources including coal, oil, and gas. As many countries import these resources, huge demand, and dependency, at times, lead to a ceiling price that disturbs the budget of a country. Most affected are developing countries, who fight to fulfil the basic needs of the citizens every year. Wind energy eliminates this problem, as developing countries has huge potential and area, where wind farms can find a home.
A major issue among other energy sources is the emission of harmful gases into the environment. But wind energy produces no such gases. Unlike dangerous mining activities for extraction of coal, wind energy’s basic source, wind, is abundant in earth’s atmosphere. In addition, the installation of wind turbines don’t require a large area and thus, eliminates the problems that arise during land acquisition.
Enhances energy security
Wind energy is profitable to the countries, who can’t afford to import an expensive resource in the form of oil and gas from other countries. Also, many developing countries like India have a limited budget to spend on such imports. Here, wind energy comes as an alternative to other high-cost resources. With enormous energy in hand, electricity reaches every single home in a country.
Negative effects of wind energy:
Few limitations impact its wide application.
The construction and maintenance cost of the entire wind energy production system is high. Wind farms require transmission lines to carry generated power to the destination. To generate offshore wind power, a submarine cable is necessary to transport the energy to the remote location which adds an extra burden on government budget or private investment. And, the costly implementation makes the rates of power generated extreme.
The power losses are unavoidable in cases of transporting energy through long transmission lines. Due to this, carrying power to remote locations, which lacks another power source, becomes arduous. In the United States, many wind companies stopped running wind farms following huge difference between generating and transmission capacity.
A major disadvantage of the wind turbines is the noise and visual pollution generation. One can hear the noise of the spinning wind turbines from hundreds of meters away. It affects the hearing ability of people living nearby. Also, windy areas are favorite among tourists and visitors, who see wind turbine as a landscape exploiter. In the past few years, the government faced wide public objection because of these reasons.
Reports say that the spinning wind turbines kill a large number of birds. This has led to the decreased population of local birds. In India, many flamingos, vultures, and cranes died of collision with moving blades. Thus, the production of wind energy poses a great threat to the wildlife.
Wind power has huge potential for eliminating the dependency on non-renewable resources. By doing so, it can fulfil the objective of wide renewable resources usage in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In India, to enhance the wind energy production, the government has launched schemes such as ‘Generation-based Incentive Scheme’ and ‘Wind Resource Assessment Programme’. To establish the footage of wind energy, the government should consider the demands of protestors and place wind farms away from dwellings. Also, policymakers should understand that uprooting homes and endangering environment to electrify another home isn’t an achievement.