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:
- General Energy Saving Solutions The Energy Star Program
- Simple Energy Saving Strategies Home Insulation
- Home Assessment Overview Energy Features, Green Your Home
- Energy Efficiency Mortgages & Grants Energy Efficient Mortgage
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