Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Power

Click for the best DIY wind generator guide
Click for the best DIY wind generator guide

Over the past 10 years residential wind turbines have improved dramatically in their ability to turn wind into energy.  The newer designs available today take advantage of innovative materials and improvements in technology that enable these current versions to generate even more power from less wind than ever before.  There is a wide variety of styles and sizes of residential wind turbines available for you to choose from so you are sure to find the perfect match of size and power for your home.

Advantages

Never-ending source of energy

The wind blows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It will continue to provide energy as long we are here on Planet Earth.  That isn’t true for fossil fuels.  There is a limited supply of fuels like oil and natural gas.  Once it’s gone, that’s all there is.  Energy provided by wind will continue forever as fossil fuels get more and more scarce, and more and more expensive.

Free Energy

As long as the wind keeps blowing, energy from the wind will be free.  There is a cost for installing a wind generator, but after that wind power is completely free.  It is possible to completely disconnect from the power grid, generate 100% of your own power and never pay an electric bill again.

No greenhouse gasses

Wind power produces no greenhouse gasses or pollution whatsoever.  Traditional fossil fuels like gas and oil produce a tremendous amount of pollution and CO2.  Using wind power can be a huge step towards reducing your carbon footprint.

Reduce dependence on foreign oil

Our dependence on foreign oil is considered by many to be one of the largest threats to national security.  Our dependence on foreign oil id reduced when you you use wind power because any electricity produced by wind power directly replaces energy that comes from foreign oil

24 hour energy production

Unlike solar power, wind power can generate electricity for your home day or night.  Solar panels can only produce electricity when the sun is shining.  On cloudy days or at night when there is no sun, one must supplement solar panels with power stored in batteries during the day or with electricity from the power company.  A wind generator can produce electricity 24 hours a day, as long as the wind is blowing.

Home orientation and required space

One of the major limiting factors of solar power systems is that they have to have the proper exposure to the sun to operate at their peak efficiency.  This can be a problem for some homeowners that have a lot of shade near their home, or don’t have a good southern exposure on their roof.  A wind generator will rotate with the wind so it isn’t affected at all by the orientation of your home.  A wind generator also takes up a lot less space than solar panels for a similar amount of energy production.

Disadvantages

Initial Cost

While the ongoing costs of wind power are very small, the initial cost of building a wind generator can be quite high.  Over time, the free electricity generated by wind power will more than make up for the initial cost.  If you have the know-how, some common tools, and the time you can significantly reduce the initial cost by building your own wind generator.  This guide can show you how to do it.

Height

For many of the larger wind turbines to operate at their peak potential they need to be mounted high enough to catch a strong and consistent wind.  In many residential locations, this means raising the wind turbine up over the level of surrounding buildings and trees.  Because of this, wind generators are usually put on the top of towers.  This means additional up-front cost and potentially getting some HOA approvals or permits.

Works best in areas that have a lot of consistent wind

While a southern view and a lot of sun aren’t required for wind power, consistent wind is.  Also, the more wind in the area, the more electricity will be produced.  This makes wind power more suitable in areas that have strong, consistent winds and fewer buildings or trees.  Putting the wind generator on a tower can help with this, but it is still true that areas with more wind will generate more power.

The above are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of wind power.  I think you’ll agree the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  Wind power even has some advantages over other renewable energy sources like solar.  In fact, in many ways the advantages of wind counter the disadvantages of solar and vice versa.  Initial cost is the only disadvantages common to both solar and wind power.  The cost can be greatly reduced, though, by building your own wind generator.  For a great guide to building your own wind generator or solar panel, including diagrams and videos, Click Here.

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