Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy Development

  • By: David
  • Date: September 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

The advantages and challenges of wind energy development depend on where the turbines are located. There are many ways to reduce the visual impact of turbines. These include choosing a location that is not sensitive or distracting from aesthetics, considering views from sensitive areas, and using screens or landscaping features. In many cases, wind turbines can even be sited a great distance from existing buildings or other structures.

Cost-competitiveness

Wind energy’s cost-competitiveness has been a controversial topic in the renewable energy sector. Manufacturers of wind turbines have made efforts to make the technology more accessible in recent years. Those efforts have helped the industry achieve grid parity in some cases. This development has helped reduce the cost of generating high-quality electricity from wind power.

Recent studies have shown that onshore wind power has now become cost-competitive with coal and gas in the UK. In the second half of 2015, wind turbines cost $85 per MWh in the UK, compared to $115/MWh for combined-cycle gas and $106/MWh for coal-fired power.

Environmental impacts

To estimate environmental impacts from wind energy, we have examined the entire life cycle of wind turbines. This includes manufacturing, installation and operation, maintenance, and EoL recycling. We also calculated the contribution of each component to GHG emissions. For the study, three scenarios were developed to calculate the impact of different technologies. These scenarios took into account the size of the wind turbine, its life cycle, and the replacement rates. We also took into account the transport strategy.

Wind turbines may have a negative impact on the environment at all stages of their life cycle. For example, the installation of turbine foundations in the sea alters seabed topology and changes sedimentation. Turbidity in seawater can also be caused by offshore wind energy. The effects can last from 10 to 20 years. Wind turbines can also alter migration patterns, kill marine animals, or cause habitat destruction.

Creation of jobs

As the wind industry grows, thousands of new jobs will be created. This includes manufacturing and supporting services. A recent Energy Department report reveals the potential for the U.S. Wind industry to create more that half a million jobs by 2050. The report also quantifies the social, economic and environmental benefits of wind energy. It estimates that more than 600,000 new wind energy jobs will be created globally by 2050.

Renewable energy sources are also predicted to create more jobs than conventional power sources. According to Cameron and Van Der Zwaan, renewable energy creates 1.7 to 14.7 times as many jobs as coal or natural gas power generation.

Location-specificity

The location-specificity of wind energy is an important consideration in the development of any wind energy project. There are many policies that affect the location requirements and regulations for wind facility construction. One such policy is setbacks, which set minimum distances between wind facilities and other structures, communications lines, and wildlife habitats. Additional factors that affect siting requirements are proximity to airports, military training routes, and communities.

The majority of states assign siting authority to local governments, while some leave it to state regulators. Texas, for example, leaves siting decisions up to local governments and requires state approval only for decommissioning wind farms. However, four states designate state regulators as primary authorities, and many other jurisdictions use a hybrid approach.

Noise

Wind energy is becoming more popular for many reasons, but it does have its drawbacks. Wind can cause interference with electrical grids due to its random wind speeds. Since electrical grids already struggle with variable demand, it may be difficult to integrate large amounts of wind power. This problem can be overcome by large-scale energy storage systems.

Wind energy has one major advantage: it doesn’t emit pollutants into the atmosphere. It also has excellent sustainability standards. Another advantage is that wind is available endlessly. There are two types of wind farms, offshore and onshore. Offshore farms can be located far from populated areas.

Climate change

Wind energy’s climate change benefits and challenges are key topics of discussion. A recent study estimated that the installation of large wind farms would increase the average temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius. Although the effect may not seem significant, it is still important for determining sustainable energy sources.

While kinetic energy is only a small part of global energy fluxes overall, wind energy contributes a large portion of it. Winds transport heat, moisture, and may have a greater impact on climate than other forms of energy.

Economic benefits

New research has shown that wind energy has a greater economic impact than other sources of energy. New wind energy has also been proven to turn undesirable properties into economic opportunities. The study looked at the impact of adding 500 megawatts of wind energy in 10 U.S. states. The study found that the addition would bring $24 billion in economic benefits to those states and an additional $3 billion to the nation. This is due to the interdependence between the states and the availability wind energy in these regions.

The study employed a mixed-methods approach to explore the economic impacts of wind farms. The study used demographic data and the JEDI modeling to assess the impact of the wind energy industry in a particular region. The study also looked at the economic impact of Texas’ 1,300 MW wind farms.

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