Wind Power is one of the oldest energy sources harnessed by humans. Early windmills used wind to crush grain or pump water. Now, modern wind turbines use wind to generate over 12% of the world’s electricity, with just over 743GW of wind power capacity worldwide. This helps the world to avoid over 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 annually – equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of South America .
As one of the fastest-growing and most efficient energy sources in the world, it’s important to understand the key advantages of Wind Power to be able to leverage its usage in global climate targets. Read on for 9 reasons why Wind Power is still the future of Green Energy.
Onshore wind power is the most cost-effective renewable energy source on the planet. Energy harnessed from onshore wind turbines is two times cheaper than offshore wind, and almost as fiscally cheap as fossil fuels. Electricity from wind farms is sold at fixed prices over longer stretches of time, and its “fuel” is free, which means wind energy offsets the price uncertainty that fuel costs add to traditional energy sources.
Wind turbines have a high upfront cost in terms of installation, but once they are built, operational costs are relatively low. There is no associated fuel cost; they run off wind, a natural freely accessible resource, and the turbines require little maintenance during their lifetime.
Most electricity sources require a water source for operation or cooling purposes but power generation from wind does not. This also makes wind energy “drought-proof”. Given the scarcity of water, this is vitally important. What’s more, unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind turbines do not release emissions that can pollute water.
Wind is abundant in every country, which means wind farms can be installed globally. This translates to a reduction in energy imports and tariffs, as well as creating wealth and local employment. This contribution to sustainable domestic development makes it an invaluable energy source.
Wind farms are large and can take up a lot of space, but the actual turbines themselves don’t take up vast amounts of real estate. As turbines are required to be spaced a specific distance apart from one another, the land between them can be used for other purposes – unlike, for example, solar farms.
Wind energy is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the Earth, and irregularities on the Earth’s surface. This means that for as long as the sun is shining (another 5 billion years or so), we will not run out of wind power, and energy can be harnessed from it to be sent across the grid.
Electricity generated from wind power does not pollute air or water; so, no smog or acid rain. It also produces negligible amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. It also does not emit toxic substances and contaminants that can be damaging to living spaces and people. Toxic substances can cause severe ecological damage and even corrode buildings, as well as trigger heart and respiratory problems for people.
As wind farms are so space-efficient, engineers can install them on existing agricultural land in rural areas. Farmers can then capitalise on the purchase or rental of their land. This means there is plenty of opportunity for expansion when it comes to wind farms, which is a positive outlook for the future of the renewable energy industry.
The wind energy sector employs over 1.1 million people worldwide, and this number is set to increase. The industry has boomed since wind turbines became commercially viable, which has steadily increased job creation over the years. Jobs are available for every stage of the wind power process, from manufacturing and installing turbines, to wind energy consultancy.
Looking forward, wind power will cover more than one-third of global power needs (35%), becoming the world’s foremost generation source. It could also deliver nearly one-quarter of the annual global CO2 emission reductions needed by 2050 . A new analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that wind power could create up to 3.3 million globally over the next five years.
The wind industry is rapidly expanding, which means it is important that people are equipped with the technical abilities and decision-making skills required for job growth. As countries around the world band together to tackle climate change, Wind Power will continue to be a significant topic of discussion. Conferences such as COP26 will see a push towards meeting emissions reductions targets, and accelerating the phasing out of coal usage – plans that wind energy will play a big part in.
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 Global Wind Report https://gwec.net/global-wind-report-2021/
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