The wind has helped facilitate needs for the past 2,000 years. Yet, more recently it has been a staple renewable energy source. Environmental scientists often debate which renewable power source is the best. Wind energy always presents itself in the top two place- competing with solar energy. What thrusts this power source to the top of the list is not just the minimal waste but also it has proven to be one of the most cost-effective, it has opened up thousands of job opportunities, it is sustainable, and wind turbines can be constructed on multi-purpose lands.
Wind Energy’s Contribution to the Economy
Though wind turbines are costly and laborious to construct, their construction and maintenance obviously require employment. According to the American Wind Energy Association, “American wind energy is a major job creator– today over 120,000 U.S. workers now have wind-powered careers. And these jobs are spread across all 50 states, meaning your state has a wind job even if it doesn’t have a wind farm.” The main fear many people have when the idea of switching entirely to renewable energy comes up is that many jobs will be lost. However, studies prove that this is far from true and jobs won’t be lost but merely used for another specialty. As energy production evolves, employment opportunities will too. It is also stated that “U.S. wind power drives unmatched economic development into rural America. Because of extra income from wind projects, family farmers and ranchers have a new source of stable income, small-town school districts can offer their students top-notch educations, and local taxes stay low.” Farmlands can be dually used to also house wind turbines without disturbing the crops or cattle. This does not only help the economy but also conserves land usage and compensates for its immense size.
Sustainability And Minimal Emission Outputs
Many of the current non-sustainable energy sources release toxic greenhouse gases that continue to put a strain on the environment, whereas wind energy does not. After the construction of the turbines, it is a completely clean fuel source. An article titled, “Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy,” by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports that “Wind energy doesn’t pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, which emit particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide—causing human health problems and economic damages.” Thus, making wind energy extremely advantageous in conserving the environment. However, the current problem engineers are faced with is the recycling of the turbine after they cease to work. On average, the current wind turbine lasts 20 to 25 years- not an incredibly long time. With this in mind, Ocean Based Perpetual Energy has researched the possibility of ensuring recyclable turbine models. In an article titled, “Recyclable Wind Turbine Blade Innovation Could Transform Other Renewable Energy Industries,” they exclaim that “Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with Arkema Inc. of Pennsylvania, have demonstrated the feasibility of thermoplastic resin and validated its structural integrity on a thermoplastic composite blade manufactured at NREL.” Therefore, the possibility of recycled wind turbines is not so far-fetched and companies are proactively working to make them.
“Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy.” Energy.gov, http://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/advantages-and-challenges-wind-energy.
“Benefits of Wind.” AWEA, http://www.awea.org/wind-101/benefits-of-wind.
“Recyclable Wind Turbine Blade Innovation Could Transform Other Renewable Energy Industries.” OceanBased, 30 Nov. 2020, oceanbased.energy/recyclable-wind-turbine-blade-innovation-could-transform-renewable-energy-industries/.