Humans can't rely on coal and oil forever, so many people are debating the pros and cons of wind energy. Could this renewable energy source be the right choice to power your home?
Considering the Pros and Cons of Wind Energy
If you are considering investing in a wind turbine to power your home, you'll likely spend some time researching how they work and if this investment is worth it. Like other environmentally friendly options, there are many pros and cons of wind energy to weigh against one another.
- The creation of wind energy is "clean". Unlike the use of coal or oil, generating energy from the wind doesn't produce pollutants or require any harmful chemicals.
- Although the equipment to harvest wind energy is not free, the wind itself is free. If you live in a geographical location that receives plenty of wind, it is there for the taking.
- As a renewable resource, wind can never be depleted like other natural, non-renewable resources.
- The electric company may end up owing you. If you generate more electricity than you need from wind power, it can be fed back into the grid and you'll receive credit.
- The cost of producing wind energy has dropped significantly in recent years, and as it gains popularity, it will continue to become more affordable.
- Wind turbines can provide energy for many homes. You don't necessarily have to own a wind turbine in order to reap the benefits; you can purchase your electricity from a utility company that harnesses wind energy.
- Tax incentives are offered for installing wind turbines on the federal and state levels.
- Land owners who rent land to wind farms can make quite a bit of extra money, and wind energy also creates new jobs in this growing technology field.
- Wind turbines are considered by some to be beautiful. Current versions look nothing like pastoral Dutch windmills, but they are white, sleek and modern.
- Wind energy reduces our dependence on fossil fuels from foreign countries.
- The industry is projected to drive job growth.
- Wind doesn't always blow consistently, and turbines typically operate at only around 30 percent capacity. If the weather is not in your favor, you may end up without electricity (or at least you'll have to rely on the utility company).
- The payback period for a residential or business wind turbine system is 20 to 30 years.
- Severe storms or extremely high winds might cause damage to your wind turbine, especially when they are struck by lightning.
- The blades of wind turbines can sometimes be dangerous to wildlife, particularly birds.
- Although the noise level of a wind turbine is considered relatively low, some say the noise is causing health problems.
- Some people believe that wind turbines are unattractive, so your neighbors may complain.
- Compliance with city codes and ordinances may be bothersome when you are trying to install a wind turbine. In some cases, height restrictions may prevent you from installing one.
- Wind turbines and other equipment required to create wind energy can be very expensive up front, and depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a vendor and someone who can maintain the equipment.
- It requires a lot of open land to set up wind turbines, and cutting down trees sort of defeats the green purpose. Desirable areas to install them are often located far from dense urban areas that could benefit the most from their power.
- Wind turbines may interfere with reception for televisions or other equipment.
- The industry is heavily subsidized by the federal government.
Before You Commit
Before investing in a home wind turbine system, make sure you have adequate acreage and wind flow. Double check local and state regulations because noise and height regulations may prohibit installing a system. If unable to install a home system, check with the utility options in your regions. It may be possible to purchase energy that has been generated with wind turbines.