Turbines: A Wind-Wind Solution
The majority of energy comes from nonrenewable fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Americans depend on this energy in almost every way imaginable; from cooking to cleaning, from working to traveling, to heating and cooling. Wind is a byproduct of solar energy; the uneven heating of the air over land and water creates wind as warm air rises and cool air rushes in to take its place (Bezdek, 29 Oct. 2013). Although some people tend to dislike the idea of wind turbines because of how they look and sound, wind energy is a renewable resource that will never run out. With the population on the rise and the amount of resources declining there has to be an answer to the growing question: where do we search for next? The answer simply is wind energy. The disadvantage of wind turbines is the aesthetic impact it has. Though wind power is non-polluting in terms of gas emissions, the turbines have a tendency to create a lot of noise, which contributes to noise pollution making it an unwelcome presence in a community 100-foot rotor blades chopping through the air at over 100 mph can leave a ringing the ears of locals. (Ausubel 29 Oct. 2013). Also homeowners seem to have this whole “not in my back yard” attitude. Although it is just an opinion, wind farms are seen as an eyesore but when planned correctly their impact on the environment is minimal. The major disadvantage is the harm the spinning blades has on birds and bats. “According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind turbines account for only one out of every 5,000 to 10,000 human-caused bird kills nationwide” (Watts 6 Nov. 2013). It is a relatively small number, but a number nonetheless. While this is an alarming factor in determining the true validity of wind power, one cannot get their feathers ruffled and lose sight of the more important benefits of wind. Body Paragraph #3: The largest environmental advantage of wind power is that it is renewable, meaning that it will not run out. As long as there is wind, there is wind power. It can be utilized forever. Wind power does not release any toxic gas pollution into the atmosphere and does not consume any amount of fuel unlike fossil fuels, coal, and nuclear power that deliver carbon dioxide emissions.
Wind turbines do not have any effect on the agriculture, leaving farmers to tend to their crops, and leaving animals to graze the fields. As turbine technology improves the noise pollution will decrease heavily (Madrid 29 Oct. 2013). Also harm to birds and bats can be reduced with proper planning and citing of the turbines. Although birds and bats demise is unsettling, more birds die from cats, automobiles, and flying into glass then from the wind turbines (Leonard 29 Oct. 2013). The advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to the environment. The biggest dilemma is what to do when the wind is not blowing. Wind can never be predicted exactly so it limits where the turbines can be effective. Small hydropower cannot be utilized in an area without small rivers making impossible to put them just anywhere (Leiberman 29 Oct. 2013). There is also the case in which there is too much wind. For example in the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season the winds are too strong to produce energy without damaging the turbines (Trainer Web. 29 Oct. 2013). The largest disadvantage is the upfront cost. Even though costs of wind energy have come down dramatically it still has to compete with the low price for fossil fuel power plants. Since the upfront investment is much higher, these projects are much harder to finance. Body Paragraph #5: Economic Advantages. Since the 1980’s, prices have decreased 80% and are expected to keep decreasing (Madrid Web. 29 Oct. 2013). The amount of energy it takes to manufacture, transport, build, and maintain wind energy is equal to the amount of energy that is produced by one wind turbine (Leonard Jan.-Feb. 2011). Conclusion: Let us say yes to wind and no to oil
“The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun,” Ralph Nader.