Wind as an Alternative Energy Source
The surrounding world rests on many elements, which contribute to the standards and demands of the modern society. Today it is not a secret that people consume more energy than ever before. The development of the society requires scientists to think about alternative sources of energy, which will be useful to the community and will have no negative effect on the environment. It is essential to reduce the amount of emissions in the air owing to the implementation of safe sources of power. One of the most discussed topics is whether wind can replace harmful sources of energy and provide people with enough power for the standard performance. Many scientists doubt if wind is efficient and have different points of view.
In “Wind is the Fastest Growing Renewable, but Transmission and Back up Generation Could Be Limiting Factors,” Dr. Scott Tinker presents the general idea of wind turbines and efficiency of wind in the contemporary world of energy. The scientist proves that it is possible to improve modern life conditions by the implementation of wind farms and transmission lines streaming power from turbines to homes of millions of people. In his explanation, Tinker starts from the emphasizing the way turbines produce power. When the wind blows, it turns the blade, which turn the generator and that makes electricity. It is possible to set a few wind turbines and produce power for the village. Moreover, putting many wind turbines proves that they can provide with power a big city. A significant benefit of this source of energy is that it is feasible to build it fast. In the world of energy, a year is the shortest period when constructions start to bring benefits to the society. Afterward, Tinker continues by mentioning that wind is a source available to everyone. Most countries are able to use wind as a perfect generator of energy. It is a fact that the largest countries like the U.S. and China have many wind farms on their territory.
One of the benefits of wind is that it is an affordable source, which can help countries build an efficient energy system. The price of wind power is the same as of natural gas power. It means that people will be willing to build wind farms. Tinker emphasizes that wind farms have zero emissions and are healthy to the environment. However, after mentioning a wide range of benefits, the speaker continues by mentioning disadvantages and challenges of contemporary wind farming.
One of the most common disadvantages is that people do not want to look at the turbines. They do not like the view of them and state that they do harm to the natural view of the environment. Scientists considered this challenge and got rid of wind turbines near houses. Many wind farms are set offshore not to disturb citizens. However, the solution to the problem led to another problem. It is obvious that by placing wind farms away from cities, it makes the delivery of power with the help of transmission lines more expensive. When someone puts a wind turbine far away from houses, they take care of the esthetic view of the scenery. However, it results in the increase in expenses on building an efficient wind farm. According to Tinker (2012), “It may require to build long transmission line, and it turns out that it is much more of a challenge than building a wind farm itself.”
The biggest challenge is that wind makes power only when it blows. It does not give any confidence that when someone needs energy the most, the wind will be there. For example, in a hot summer day, many people are using air conditioning. Once wind farms do not produce power to homes of people, they will suffer from hot weather. It means that it is necessary to support wind with another appropriate energy source, which will provide people with power in case of trouble. In most cases, scientists offer to use natural gas power in order to provide houses with electricity.
Dr. Scott Tinker summarizes all the said above by stating that wind is the new clean source of power. It is an affordable source, which could help society. However, he is worried that building transmission lines and supporting generation can make it unaffordable. He states that every energy source is a trade-off between advantages and disadvantages. Tinker emphasizes that a successful implementation of new energy sources requires the right balance between many other energy sources, which form energy system.
Dr. Steve Koonin presents another video named “I Believe Wind Could Get to 20 to 30% of Our Electricity in the Next 20 years,” supporting the idea of wind as a source of energy. In the form of dialogue, the audience acquaints itself with the main facts related to the problem of wind farms implementation. First, Dr. Koonin starts from stating that wind produces 1.3 % of the U.S. energy. According to his point of view, it is a relatively small indicator, which is feasible to increase in the future. He states that wind competes with natural gas. However, he continues that wind power should collaborate with natural gas power. He supports the idea that wind does not blow all the time, and it needs an alternative to replace wind in times one requires it. According to Koonin (2012), “A gas can help but you need some reasonable time to know when the wind is going to go down.”
Further, the speaker continues by mentioning that the capacity of wind turbines is not the same as the produced energy. For example, a 10 MW turbine, which is a significant one, produces about 3 MW of electricity. In comparison with solar power, where 1 MW produces only 200 kW of electricity, wind power was not the worst decision. The reasons for solar panels low productivity are in the day/night cycle and clouds, which may obscure the sun. Afterward, Dr. Koonin mentions that people learn much information about energy sources from the media. He insists on paying much attention to the production rate of the solar panels and wind turbines in order to see the difference between them.
Final statements support the idea that wind farms are best in windy areas. However, people do not tend to live there. That means that it is necessary to put wind turbines far away from cities and villages. He also informs that wind power is a significant challenge. It is the question of economics and policy. Thus, this problem needs constant attention from the government and its branches in order to bring benefits in the future. Dr. Koonin summarizes by saying that it is possible to relate around 30% of all energy produced in the U.S. wind power in 20 years.
The next speaker is from Environment Defense Fund. In “Every Time the Wind Doesn’t Blow You Don’t Get Power,” Scott Anderson starts from informing the audience about challenges and opportunities of wind power system. However, his short report is mainly based on challenges faced by the renewable source of energy. The main benefit of wind power is that it does not harm the environment. It does not have emissions, and this facility can produce enough power to provide a town with electricity. The statement that every time the wind blows, it produces energy summarizes the list of advantages.
Anderson continues his speech by mentioning the challenges faced by the wind power system. The biggest limitation of the system is that it does not produce energy when the wind is not blowing. It is obvious that all scientists have the same point of view on the matter of supporting energy sources. However, the speaker mentions that 15 % of the Texas power generation relates to the wind facilities. It is obvious that it is feasible to develop this sector. According to Anderson (2012), “Because there is such a gap between the nominal capacity and its actual annual delivery, there are limitations as to how much wind can be put on the electric grid and still keep the grid stable and reliable.” Finally, Anderson finishes by mentioning that penetration of wind is different depending on the wind patterns and on the structure of the raid. However, it is necessary to worry about how much the system can handle.
One can hardly measure the benefits of wind. It is a fact that society is interested in the implementation of wind farms and the spread of wind turbines all over the country. In order to present the benefits to the community, there is a video conversation with a wind farmer from Rascal. In “The First Increase ever in School Enrollment,” Cliff Etheredge proves that wind farming can benefit the community. He emphasizes that people are interested in the increase in wind farms for a reason. He starts from mentioning that property owners gained an opportunity to receive a regular paycheck. Moreover, Etheredge proves that community is developing because of the wind power sources. A good example of development is school enrollment. According to Etheredge (2012), “Since the wind farm is built, the last two years the enrollment in Rascal has increased for the students.” He emphasizes that it is the first increase over many years. Schools prove that benefits of the wind farm are obvious. Community is willing to develop, and all measures are appropriate when it comes to the development. School enrollment is the first and the greatest benefit proving that it is efficient to build more wind farms all over the country.
The contemporary world is developing, and its demands keep growing. It is obvious that there are many environmental problems related to the issue of energy sources. The article proves that wind is an appropriate source to reduce emissions and make the atmosphere cleaner. However, all scientists agree that there are many challenges that the wind power system faces. It can be expensive to put long transmission lines aimed at providing people with power. Purring transmission lines is more expensive than putting wind farms. Apparently, if society wants to improve, it needs to contribute to the development of a safe environment. It is impossible to live in the world with damaged balance. Community should take care of providing all generations with the healthy environment appropriate for development. Although the wind power system faces numerous challenges, there are all chances to increase its usage in the next 20 years. People should work on bringing improved living conditions for future generations. It is not a secret that paying attention to the environmental issues and the involvement of all elements of the society helps to reduce the problem. People should not forget that the planet is a fragile object that can break fast. Finally, it is required to review different sources of renewable energy. The solution can hide in creating an effective power system, involving various alternative energy sources like natural gas and wind.
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