Wind energy is produced by mother nature as a result of uneven heating caused by the sun along with the variation in the earth’s surfaces and its rotations. It is also considered one of the most efficient and widely used types of energy which is naturally replenishing itself providing a lot of economic, natural and health benefits, which disturbs the use of fossil fuels. Not only in the present but when we turn back to the eras of the 10th and 13th century, there are evidences to prove that Persians and the Chinese also used different techniques to approach wind power.
At present, wind is mostly used as a source of electricity which is generated by connecting the generator to the blade and rotor of the wind turbines which converts the kinetic energy of wind to electrical energy. In this blog, we are going to explore how wind energy contributes to a sustainable future through benefits to mankind, importance as a part of nature, social and economic aspects as well as criticisms against wind power and steps to avoid them.
Importance as a part of the nature
As wind is a gift from nature it provides renewable energy that helps nations to reduce releasing of carbon emissions to a great extent and avoid releasing greenhouse gasses to nature which accelerates global warming. Furthermore, using wind energy avoids the situation of releasing toxic substances and contaminants to land and water ecosystems which acidifies the environment and causes many damages to humans and nature including loss of biodiversity and causing various diseases. As the process of making electricity using wind does not require any cooling effect, unlike nuclear power or fossil fuel plants it has a low consumption footprint. This makes it a key source of conserving hydrological resources.
Wind power is inexhaustible which means that wind turbines can produce electricity throughout the day and night to produce relatively high amounts of electricity which not only increases the importance of consuming wind energy but also allows us to take more steps away from using fossil fuels and nuclear power creating a more positive impact on earth.
In the end, we can conclude that the use of wind energy as a source of electricity can be seen as an attempt to reverse the consequences of rapid urbanization and unplanned infrastructure development when considering it as a type of renewable energy resource. This avoids the situation of future generations facing the consequences of our present actions. Using wind energy in a better way as a source of nature helps us to fulfil the goal of providing a more sustainable and better environment for future generations.
Areas where Wind Energy is used
In the present day, various energies from wind are produced mostly by wind turbines which have blades that are similar to aeroplane wings. These blades spin and convert the kinetic energy of the wind to mechanical energy. Then this mechanical energy can be used to produce electricity or to pump water. The electricity produced by the electromagnetic generator which is connected to wind turbines can be used to power houses, schools or business places. There are also wide projects which distribute electricity made from these wind turbines around a huge portion of the country. As they require a large quantity of electricity, large groups of wind farms
each consisting of thousands of wind turbines are widely spread. Rural areas with drought and less populated places such as a wide range of fields are used to install wind farms, considering air density, wind speed, direction of wind and cloud distribution. The land in between these wind turbines can still be used for agriculture, forestry and farming.
Except for the land, wind farms can be installed in the water too, due to the high velocity of wind offshore. It can be made either on the shallow water level with a fixed platform to the bottom of the water body or with floating platforms on the deep water levels. Wind farm projects tender to be built offshore than onshore to have a minimal impact on people and the lands.
Besides the production of electricity, Wind energy also contributes to the irrigation system which supplies water to domestic systems, public places or small-scale irrigation. The water pump is the most common type of system that is used in this site, which can be mechanical or electrical that is connected to the wind turbine. The water pump is effective in areas with steady wind flow and groundwater supply. Furthermore, food production using wind energy is one of the smart methods that was gifted to the present by our ancestors. Windmills are still used with advanced technology related to electricity and motors in large-scale productions.
Social and Economic Sustainability
As the wind is a renewable source which continues with the spinning of the earth, it can be considered a long-term solution for the management of energy requirements. As the world is shifting with new technology, Smart integration of hybrid renewable energy generation like optimizing the generation profile of wind farms, by adding solar energy with the battery power can be used to increase efficiency. Also, this produced energy can be stored in batteries which enables the supply of clean and flexible energy for industries.
Furthermore, using wind power for electricity production is an excellent solution for isolated and rural places so that those people can use electricity with fewer taxes or even completely free.
As wind energy projects go along with manufacturing, transportation and project construction, resulting in jobs for people in rural areas. On the other hand companies from outside of the community can also take part in these projects which increases the indirect economic and induced impacts.
In these areas with wind farms, crops can be grown and livestock can be grazed in between wind turbines which increases the crashcrops of rural landowners. Due to property tax payments taken from utility-scale wind projects, the revenues can be used to build community infrastructures such as schools, roads and bridges etc which contribute towards the development of that particular area.
On the other hand, tourism, which is a part of the country’s economy, can be enhanced by the wind farms which provide a scenic view for those who are interested in technology along with nature. The main advantage of wind energy is that, with the advancements and research done on the wind industry enhancing the reduction cost of power consumption many people tend to do investments in it. Even if you have to invest money in the initial setup, you will start to get profits in the long run.
Challenges and how to avoid them
Though wind energy provides a lot of possibilities for the sustainability of a country, there are some challenges a project might face as well. One of the most common types of challenges is competition with other low-cost energy sources like geothermal, gas or nuclear facilities, this is due to the lack of windy areas and the higher cost of the wind plants. However, by understanding and applying the physics of wind plants, using next-generation low-cost manufacturing technologies and improvements can avoid these types of challenges.
On the other hand, wind turbines may affect wildlife such as bats and some birds and they can make unnecessary noises that affect the environment. To face this situation these projects are involved in minimizing wind-wildlife interaction, properly citing wind turbines and involvement in environmental research.
As a perfect solution for all these challenges, the companies and projects are more likely to work on improving offshore wind energy transmission which also overcomes the demand of bringing electricity produced in rural areas to urban areas.
In conclusion, using wind as a source of energy for electricity, food production and drainage systems contribute towards the sustainability of a country in economic, social and development stages with a positive impact on nature. Though there are challenges to using wind energy, they can be avoided with advanced technology and gift to our future generation, by sustainable use.