Ange and I took a road trip a few Saturdays ago. The scenery was picture postcard beautiful. Even though fall is winding down, the birch trees looked gorgeous in the coulees, framed by the brown leaves on the hills and ground. While driving through the countryside we came upon some giant wind turbines. We were able to drive right up to them and stopped to see them up close. They are quite impressive when you can see and hear them whirring overhead.
Wind energy is one of those double-edged swords. You are either a lover or a hater. So my interest was piqued. Here's what I learned:
- Wind is a green energy source and does not cause pollution.
- Abundant domestic supply – far more than what the entire population needs.
- Wind power is renewable and we can't run out of it.
- Wind turbines are incredibly space-efficient.
- The power is essentially free once the infrastructure is paid for.
- Costs continue to decrease.
- Residential wind turbines yields energy savings and protects homeowners from power outages.
Cons of Wind Energy
- The wind is inconsistent, unsteady and unpredictable.
- Wind power, like many energy sources, rely on government subsidies to remain competitive.
- The manufacturing and installation of wind turbines requires heavy upfront investments – both in commercial and residential applications.
- Wind turbines can be a threat to wildlife (e.g. birds, bats).
Side note: The Audubon Society supports wind power, provided that it is planned and sited in areas to minimize harm to wildlife.
- Noise is regularly reported as a problem by neighboring homes.
- How wind turbines look (aesthetics) is a legitimate concern for some people.
- Localized impact on night-time temperatures and weather