What is Wind Energy and How is it Beneficial to us as a Renewable Energy Source?
Over the past few decades, we have seen a great deal of inventions introduced to society that are aimed towards bettering our lives. These inventions utilize new and innovative ideas and designs to harness energy. Inventions that evolve around the use of wind have been in circulation for a number of years, but it has only been recent developments resulting from our curiosity about alternative energy sources and our drive to make energy more efficient that we have come to notice the true potential of wind as a true energy source.
The construction of large-scale wind farms has enabled us to take full advantage of the use of wind and turn this into an effective and useful energy source. The use of large wind turbines allows us to convert the power of wind into electricity. There are three different types of wind farms; those that are off shore, near shore and land based wind farms.
Off shore wind farms are usually built at least ten kilometers away from land and are the most expensive to construct and maintain. Since they are built near the ocean, the salt content from the seawater can corrode the wind turbines, making them less effective. However, off shore farms are often times the most effective wind farms for producing energy, due to the fact that oceanic winds can travel very quickly and in some areas almost constantly travel from the same direction.
Near shore farms are installed in water, just shy of the shoreline or on the beach itself. These farms will also take advantage of wind traveling in one continuous direction and are also usually more effective than land based farms. It’s the continuous wind that makes these wind farms a solid source of energy production.
Land farms are constructed around three kilometers or more inland. Using the study of topography, scientists are able to identify the sites that receive the highest amount of wind. The wind turbines placed in these farms are extremely technologically advanced and even self-adjust aligning themselves into the direction of the wind in order to maximize efficiency.
There are many benefits to large-scale wind farms and wind power in general. Probably the most important of these is the fact that wind is a renewable energy, meaning we will not deplete the Earth of this resource. Wind is also easily accessible in many countries all around the world. So, as we look for new and different ways in which to help the environment, wind presents itself as one of the most advantageous methods we can adopt as a reliable form of energy.
Another benefit of wind farms is that wind turbines produce no pollution making them a clean energy source. Over time, as more wind farms are constructed, we can help the world become less dependent on other energy forms that cause pollution and contribute to decreasing the greenhouse effect such as the toxic fumes created from burning coal.
To make wind farms a truly viable and beneficial energy production source they must be financially beneficial. The simple fact that wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents/kWh with a Production Tax Credit applied throughout the U.S., a price that is competitive with new coal-or gas-fired power plants, justifies it as a beneficial energy source. There are also several tax benefits, government incentives and grants, to help develop and broaden this relatively young but growing industry.
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