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Myths And Facts About Wind Energy

Myths And Facts About Wind Energy

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Wind energy is a concept that has received relatively little media attention - especially compared to solar energy. As a result, most people don't know much about wind energy. From the little bit that people have heard, there are many misconceptions. This article will set the record straight about wind energy, its energy efficiency, costs and more.

Harnessing Energy from the Wind

Energy is created when the wind blows naturally over Earth's surface. Centuries ago, the Dutch built windmills which used this energy to mill corn, drain the land, for saw milling and various industrial uses. With modern technology, we can now harness the wind's energy using wind turbines and windmill systems that transform the energy into electricity and store it for later use. In contrast to early windmills, the main advantage of modern wind energy systems - aside from vastly increased efficiency - is their ability to provide energy (in the form of electricity) for various uses.

Myth #1: Wind Power Provides Insufficient Power

A common misconception is that wind energy can't supply enough power for many uses and demands. In truth, if wind energy is properly harvested and distributed, it can produce enough electricity to meet the entire world's demand. Right now, we're only using a tiny fraction of the wind's potential to provide electricity. With more education, acceptance and adoption, wind energy can play a major role in solving the world's energy problems.

Myth #2: High Cost

Many people think that wind power generation is very expensive. While it is true that initial setup costs can be expensive, in the long run wind energy can be very economical. After the wind harnessing system is set up, aside from some negligible maintenance costs, the power it generates is essentially free.

Myth #3: No Disadvantages

Proponents of wind energy may tell you that it has no disadvantages, that it's the perfect energy source. While it definitely has major advantages, like providing a sustainable and perpetual source of power (which means that unlike oil, it will never run out), it does have some drawbacks. Wind turbines are responsible for a number of bird deaths every year, when they fly into the rotating blades. Also, the rotating blades do create some degree of noise pollution. However, proponents are likely to point out that careful positioning of the windmills and technological advances can address these issues.

Myth #4: Not For Private Use

There is a common belief that wind energy can only be harvested by governments or large corporations that set up wind farms. In fact, it is very possible to set up a wind energy system on your rural property. Professional contracting companies are available to advise you on proper positioning and for installation.

Fact: Wind Energy is Clean Energy

A main advantage of wind power is that it's a "clean" source of energy. Aside from some potential noise pollution, wind power is non-polluting. This is a major benefit compared to conventional means of power generation, like oil and gas. Wind energy doesn't produce greenhouse gasses or other pollutants. Wind is completely renewable, meaning that it will never run out, and never be scarce. And we don't have to depend on other countries to supply it to us.

Fact: Wind Energy is Gaining Momentum

At a time when energy conservation, clean energy and saving the environment are popular topics, wind power is still the least used power source. At the end of 2009, only 2% of the world's electricity use came from wind energy. But this represents a 100% increase from the previous 3 years. And countries such as Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Germany are using wind energy as a significant source of power. As of May 2009, 80 countries were using wind power on a commercial basis. In the United States, wind power generation is growing at a rapid pace, second in growth to natural gas for the fourth year in a row.

With diminishing natural resources leading us toward an imminent energy crisis, alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power will fill our need for energy with a gentler effect on the environment.

Home Energy Efficiency Tips:

We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the Building Energy Pros web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Building Energy Pros. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
Cynthia Simpson

The Building Energy Pros auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
Tom McGee

We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
Leslie Stewart

I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.

The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!

Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.

I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
A. M.

My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
J. F.

The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
M. B.

The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Vicki Nez/at

Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Building Energy Pros to our friends and neighbors.
Katherine McCaffrey

The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase

The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Building Energy Pros.
Tim Clary

I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Willie Gantt

Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.
Tommy Thompson