The power production sector is the greatest contributor ofgreenhouse gas into the atmosphere at 38% in the United States.Over-reliance on coal and natural gas has continued, to pollute theenvironment and affect the health of numerous people. Renewable andclean sources of energy such as wind energy have become theshort-term solutions to the problems caused by other energy sources(Margolis and Kammen 691). Despite the enormous potential for powerproduction that the wind has, it is essential to note that the windprovides for only 4% of the U.S.’s energy source. Notably, powerexperts have asserted that the wind industry can provide up to 20% ofthe America’s electric power and that of the world. Severaladvantages are associated with wind power. However, a few theshortcomings of this source of power have been identified.
Pros of wind power
Wind energy does not pollute the environment, and it is, therefore,considered as a clean source of power. Notably, the wind does notrelease any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere unlike other energysources such as coal. Further, wind energy is a renewable source andcan be used by many generations to come (Vries and Turkenburg 910).In other words, wind power relies on natural world forces and,therefore, the wind cannot be depleted. It is also important to notethat wind energy is cheap to produce. This is because once theequipment and the turbines are put in place, the cost of producingpower is almost nil and wind is in abundant supply. Although this isa common aspect with all other energy sources, it is important tostate that the wind energy industry creates numerous jobopportunities for engineers, lawyers, technicians and otherspecialists.
Cons of wind power
Despite the above advantages, the wind energy industry is said tohave a few shortcomings. Strong winds are usually found in ruralareas, which are far away from the urban centers where the electricenergy is in high demand (Maycock 66). This increases the cost oftransporting the energy. Further, the wind is unpredictable and,therefore, it is not a reliable source of energy. It is evident thatthere seasons when winds are weak to an extent where they cannotsustain the turbines (Devine 130). Oftentimes, people who resideclose to the turbines have complained of noise, and this could beviewed as a form of pollution to the environment. Despite extensivecampaigns about the cheap nature of wind power, research has shownthat the production of wind energy is extremely expensive and it isonly due to government subsidies that this energy source appearscheap.
Wind power in the U.S.
The United States is yet to adapt wind power, and it onlycontributes 4% of the total electric power used in the U.S. This isconsidered to be high since there are some countries especially inAfrica where wind power is hardly used to add energy to the nationalgrid. Energy experts across the world are convinced that wind energywill be the solution to the current energy crisis and if the righttechnology is applied, wind will provide over 20% of the world energyneeds. There is no doubt that the future of the industry looksbright. As many countries continue to grapple with the devastatingeffects of global warming due to pollution, there is a likelihoodthat many countries will resort to wind power.
While concluding, the advantages of wind power outweigh the fewshortcomings highlighted. This is especially in comparison to thedevastating effects of coal and gas energy. If the world focused onproducing wind energy, the effects of coal and gas energy could bereduced by over 20%. It is evident that the world has beenunderutilizing the wind industry. Wind power has great potential andcapacity to provide electricity to millions of people if it can beexplored efficiently.
Devine, Wright. Towards an integrated framework for understandingpublic perceptions of wind energy. , vol. 8, pp125–139. 2015.
Margolis, Rein and Kammen, Davis. Underinvestment: The energytechnology and R&D
Maycock, Peter. The World PV Market 2000: Shifting from Subsidy to‘Fully Economic? Renewable Energy World, 3 (4): 59-73. 2014.
policy challenge, Science, 285: 690-692. 2015.
Vries, Bane and Turkenburg, Will. (2004) Assessment of the global andregional geographic, technical and economic potential of onshorewind energy. Energy Economics vol. 26, pp 889–919. 2013.
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