Disadvantages of wind energy are good in number. Due to the limitations of wind energy, it is not a favorite choice of energy source. Some of the major disadvantages of wind energy are that; no electricity is produced if there is no wind, it is expensive to install, big acreages of land have to be used, and the turbines kill birds.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy – Factors You Need to Consider
1) It is Dependent on the Availability of Wind
Disadvantages of wind energy include the fact that it relies entirely on the availability of wind. As long as there is no wind no electricity will be produced. As such, this form of energy cannot be relied on in totality as it is bound to fail every now and then. Due to the fact that this form of energy is not reliable, electricity generators do not invest on it and as such, its technology is not improving. There is therefore a high likelihood that this form of energy will be done away with eventually as the technology of other forms of energy is improving with leaps and bounds.
2) Wind Turbines Kill Birds
Wind turbines are usually made of blades that rotate continuously and fiercely. Due to the fact that the blades are usually placed high up in the air, they are known to kill birds that fly over it. A research was done that showed that about 45,000 birds that flew over wind turbines have been killed over the past 20 years. The birds that are affected the most are the ones that usually migrate annually, these birds include; kestrels, golden eagles and tailed hawks. Attempts have been made to prevent more birds from dying as they paint the blades with conspicuous colors so that the birds can see and avoid them.
3) The Speed of the Blowing Wind Has to Be Right
So as to produce the right amounts of electric power, the wind turbines need to rotate at the right pace. The rotation should neither be too slow nor too fast. When the speed of the wind is extremely slow, it is not economical for the turbines to run. This is because the turbines are quite expensive to run. When there is too much wind that is blowing at a fast rate, it is mandatory that the turbines are shut down owing to concerns of safety as if the wind is so strong the turbines might get destroyed or might get detached and hurt people.
4) The Energy Density of Wind Is Low
Due to the fact that wind is diffuse and it is also spread over a wide area, so as to be able to produce large quantities of electricity it is mandatory that the number of turbines used cover a large area. Since many turbines have to be used, the costs of setting up a wind farm are so high. However, the production of other sources of energy faces the same problems.
5) This Form of Energy is Not Efficient
The system that is usually set up so as to turn wind energy into electric energy is not efficient. This happens to be one of the major disadvantages of this form of energy. The turbines do not have the ability to extract a hundred percent of the energy that is found in the blowing wind. Research shows that turbines extract only fifty nine percent of the wind energy that passes through them. This makes them very insufficient. The fact that experts in this field are not investing on making this system of power generation better means that the insufficiency is bound to continue.
6) The Energy that is Produced Can’t Be Stored in Large Scale
The energy that is produced cannot be stored in large scale. Considering the fact that it is impossible to have wind blowing daily, it is important that the energy storage of this system be sufficient. Seeing as it is not, this shortcoming contributes greatly to the insufficiency of wind energy. Needless to say, this problem is likely to be there for a very long time.
7) The Turbines are Noisy
One of the reason as to why most people avoid using this form is energy is that the machinery that is used for the production of electricity is very noisy. Although this form of energy is preferred as it does not pollute the environment, the noise that is usually produced in the process of producing electricity is too much: it can be a nuisance. As such, the system setups for this form of power cannot be placed in places that need to be quiet such as residential areas and places of works. This limits the number of places where the setups can be put up.
8) The Amount of Wind that Blows Is Unpredictable
The amount of wind that is likely to blow in a particular place at a particular time is impossible to predict. This is one of the major disadvantages of wind energy as one has to invest on other alternatives forms of energy. As such one has to incur double costs so as to ensure that they have enough electricity. The best alternatives of energy are geothermal and solar energy. As a result of this shortcoming, before setting up a wind farm, thorough research has to be done so as to make sure that the location is appropriate.
9) This Form of Energy is Suited to Be Set Up in Specific Places
Wind farms can only be set up on specific places. This limits the use of this form of energy to specific places. The best place to set up a wind farm is in the coastal regions. The reason as to why turbines are placed in the coastal region is due to the fact that coastal regions are always windy. This means that regions which are located hilly areas may not be able to benefit from this form of energy. The place where the turbines are placed ought to have a lot of wind blowing if any electricity is to be produced.
10) The Visual Impact that Turbines Have on the People
Many people are of the ideas that turbines are not appealing to the eye. There is however people who tend to think that they beautify the areas as they are appealing to the eyes. The different views have resulted into people filing petitions to bar the setting up of wind farms in areas that surround them. The fact that there are people who find turbines undesirable is a shortcoming of this form of energy as its use is limited to places where they are accepted.
11) Land Use
One of the main disadvantages of wind energy is that large tracks of land are needed to so that the appropriate number of turbines can be installed. One of the major reason as to why the installation of turbines is considered to be a waste of time is because the electrical energy that is usually produced is too little to warrant the wastage of huge tracks of land. The fact that a safe area has to be around each farm contributes to wastage of land. A survey was done that showed that the installation of one turbine requires the use of 5 acres of land. However, I am not certain how true this is.
12) Poor Electricity Production
Many people wonder whether the little electricity produced is worth the costs that come with the buying of the turbines and towers. The amount of electricity that is produced is very little and not worth the cost of installing the wind farms. Also the fact that one may need to replace the turbines and towers after a while makes more expensive and therefore many people think it is not worth it. Although this form of energy is clean, the amount of electric energy produced ought to be enough to warrant the high costs. The amount of electricity produced should be of usable quantities to warrant the costs that are incurred.
13) Turbines Interfere With the Reception of Televisions
Many of the people who live near wind farms complain that the wind turbines interfere with their television signals. This explains why most people protest against the putting of wind farms in residential places. Turbines are also known to interfere with radio signals.
The disadvantages of wind energy cannot be ignored. Some of these limitations are so great that they cannot be ignored. Limitations such as the fact that the amount of electricity that is produced is not worth the costs that were incurred to make the wind farms is a major limitation that has to be considered before setting up a wind farm. Wind energy is not a reliable source of power as there are days when the wind will not blow and this result into a situation where electricity will not be available until the wind begins to blow again. It is important to have a reliable source of power as lack power interferes with almost all activities that take place in daily living. The fact that this form of energy is not likely to improve makes it more undesirable.
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