Wind energy rocks. It always has, of course, but now there are more and more reasons why governments and industry are turning to wind energy to power the future. Here are just eight of those reasons.
- Wind is abundant does not fluctuate over the long term. Today might be windy, tomorrow less so, the next day you might have to hold your coat closed. Such is the nature of wind. Day to day, it can be fickle. This year, there will be plenty of wind. Next year, more wind. The following year, you can count on more of the same. Such is the nature of wind. Year over year, the wind keeps blowing.
- Wind is available at all hours (unlike solar). Wind blows in the morning. Wind blows in the afternoon. Wing blows at midnight. Wind blows at noon. Wind even blows at tea time. Yes, even while you sip your Earl Grey, wind turbines are working to power your electric candles.
- Wind is everywhere:
Top 10 wind power countries (source)
end 2009 (MW)
June 2010 (MW)
United States 35,159 36,300 China 26,010 33,800 Germany 25,777 26,400 Spain 19,149 19,500 India 10, 925 12,100 Italy 4,850 5,300 France 4,521 5,000 United Kingdom 4,092 4,600 Portugal 3,535 3,800 Denmark 3,497 3,700 Rest of world 21,698 24,500 Total 159,213 175,000
- Wind is clean. It leaves no emissions (unlike coal and fossil fuels). That is not to say that wind is 100% clean; no human activity leaves the world unmarked. It does take materials to build the turbines and the towers, there still is wiring, etc. But wind does not emit pollution. Wind does not use chemicals that could be toxic. Wind does not block rivers or carry the risk of a meltdown. Most of the concerns over wind power generation have been aesthetic, meaning that in some cases people have not wanted the towers in their neighborhoods because they do not look rustic enough or they do not match the colour of the houses or because of some other reason related to appearance.
- Wind is free. Everyone has access. Countries will fight for water and for oil, but the wind blows around the globe. Sun is less abundant farther from the equator in the cold season, but wind is everywhere.
- Wind power has history. Think of Dutch windmills. Think of the Santa Maria discovering the new world. Think of kids flying their kites.
- Wind is economical. Energy costs money, but over time, non-renewables cost more. That is the nature of supply and demand. On the other hand, renewables cost less over time. Such is the nature of economies of scale.
- Wind is safe. Some birds might get hurt by the turbines (manufacturers are working on ways to reduce this), but there are no risks of explosions or water contamination or nuclear fallout, and the risks to wind power workers is much less than for most forms of energy generation.