Benefits Of Wind Power

Wind power is primarily a utility-scale technology, with hundreds of turbines arrayed in large "wind farms." Wind offers a number of advantages over fossil fuel in powering the grid:

■ Wind is a vast, free, and inexhaustible resource.

■ Wind helps reduce our use of the primary fuels for grid power: natural gas, coal, and to a lesser extent, petroleum. Recognizing that all fossil fuels will peak within the next 20 years, and skyrocket in cost, it is important that we reduce their consumption as much as possible.

■ Electric power from wind in most cases is already cheaper than power from natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants. Even locations that do not have adequate wind resources can benefit from wind generation elsewhere, which helps to hold down grid power costs overall.

■ Once a turbine is erected, wind requires no fuel.

■ Like solar and geothermal power, most of the costs are up front to build a wind system. After that, the maintenance and operation costs are minimal and predictable. So financing wind-power projects can be low-risk compared to fossil-fueled plants, where the cost of the fuel is volatile and unpredictable, and thus an investment risk.

■ Deploying more wind reduces climate change. Once in place, a wind farm creates no greenhouse gas emissions.

■ Wind power needs no water. Traditional power plants of all kinds require significant amounts of water, as much as several billion gallons per day each, which is used in the condenser cycle to turn steam back into water. During hot summers, such as the 2006 heat wave in Europe, and periods of drought like the American Southeast experienced in 2007, power plants have been shut down due to a lack of water.1

■ Wind power can be a large part of a diversified energy mix. The more diversified the supply, the better for energy security, by reducing conflict over energy resources and adding resiliency to the grid.

■ Wind production is fairly predictable, so its costs are fairly steady. This helps to buffer the impact of volatile fossil fuel costs.

■ The wind industry is a major economic boost and a source of well-paying new jobs.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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