Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the United States. This is likely due to the minimal impact it has on the environment and the affordability it provides to operators and consumers. The impacts of wind energy are still being learned and understood, but its potential can not be underestimated.
While wind speed is variable, making it likely wind power won't completely replace other forms of energy in the near future, it is already making positive impacts on the environment and on the lives of consumers. Here are four areas where, so far, window power has had the greatest impacts.
1. Wind Energy Creates Jobs
The development of wind energy creates jobs. From construction of its many parts to delivery, construction and maintenance, wind energy has created thousands of jobs and helped strengthen various industries.
Wind power systems require a lot of work and manpower to get them to operations. It will involve a transportation company to move them when the manufacturing company has completed them. A crane service Sioux Falls SD, is then required to erect them.
However, jobs remain due to their required maintenance and operations, but this is a positive expense since jobs are good for the economy. The maintenance required for wind turbines includes lubricating moving parts and inspecting connections so any issues can be resolved.
Currently, wind turbines are built to last approximately 20 years. Once the turbine has been exhausted, it guarantees further job development as new ones are manufactured and erected.
2. It's Cost Effective for Consumers
For consumers, the benefits come in several forms. Wind projects bring revenue to communities because they have to be located on land owned by farmers and ranchers. Fortunately, crops can still be developed around wind systems.
Wind power also reduces the cost of electricity to consumers and doesn't come with price spikes associated with the fossil fuel industry. In Iowa, wind energy saves consumers billions of dollars by replacing more traditional and more costly energy sources. The technology that has made wind energy possible has also made it the lowest-cost source of energy for consumers in residential and commercial structures.
Wind energy systems have low operating costs since they don't utilize fuel. They have the potential to provide electricity to entire communities or they can be made just large enough to supply energy to a facility.
3. Wind Power is Sustainable
Wind power is sustainable and renewable. It reduces America's dependence on fossil fuels and reduces the use of transportation fuels. It also doesn't deplete natural resources such as fossil fuels and it doesn't consume water. Electric power plants do both. In fact, studies show that energy generated by wind power reduced water consumption by over 36 billion gallons in 2013.
Wind power also does not pollute the environment. Water is not impacted and neither is the air which people and animals breathe. This also means there is reduced risk of smog, acid rain and greenhouse emissions. Without the pollutants associated with other energy sources, wind energy has the potential to reduce health care costs and ailments associated with pollution.
4. It Can Be Utilized Anywhere
Wind power can be harnessed from almost anywhere there is land to place wind turbines. Today, wind power generates approximately seven percent of energy being produced in the United States and this number continues to steadily climb.
For areas that don't generate as much wind, turbines can be built higher to reach the more turbulent areas in the atmosphere. Turbines can be built as tall as a 20-story building. To gain more height, they can be built on top of hills and in mountain gaps. Areas that work best for wind power generate an average wind speed of at least 9 miles per hour.
Today, wind power is also generated off the Coast of Rhode Island. This is the first offshore wind energy project but its success has shown promise for development of more coastal wind energy systems.
Wind energy has been around for a while, but its impacts on consumers and sustainability are still becoming known. While it's doubtful wind power alone can replace fossil fuels, when used in combination with solar energy, together they may someday become the primary source of energy around the globe. Both forms of energy are sustainable and renewable, and have no negative impacts on the health of humans.
While wind energy is not without its issues, primarily to birds and bats, technology is always evolving. Perhaps someday there will be the perfect mix in which all life benefits from clean energy technology and fossil fuels can become a practice of the past.