There’s no debate against the fact that wind energy provides the cleanest source of power for both businesses and individuals. Wind turbines are often installed in coastal areas, between mountain gaps, or in areas where there’s a steady, consistent flow of wind. They can be installed in either vertical or horizontal axis. Most wind energy projects follow the horizontal axis model. Although wind energy is one of the most advantageous sources of energy available, it also has its fair share of demerits. This article covers some of them.
- Noise Disturbances – one of the most outstanding qualities of wind energy is that it doesn’t pollute the environment (including both air and water). However, it still generates a lot of noise. For this reason alone, wind energy should ideally not be installed near schools or residential premises. People who live near wind energy projects often complain of the huge noise. The visual pollution that this form of energy creates is also another key reason why most people are hesitant about installing turbines in their backyard.
- The threat to Wildlife – large wind energy projects pose a threat to wildlife on remote locations. Plainly, wind turbines themselves can be harmful to flying creatures such as birds. Studies also suggest that wild animals perceive wind turbines as a threat to their life. More so, since wind turbines need deep ground holes for installation, this could have an adverse effect on underground habitats.
- Unpredictability – wind is a non-renewable form of energy that cannot be depleted. Still, it has a major disadvantage since it can’t be predicted. This is why companies invest a lot of money and time studying different areas to ascertain their suitability for wind energy projects. Extreme weather phenomena, such as tornadoes and deadly hurricanes, can harm wind turbine installations.
- Region Limitations – wind energy is mostly used in coastal areas where there’s strong enough wind to generate power. Countries that do not have such coastal areas (and other areas suitable for turbine installation for that matter) have little chance of taking advantage of this environmentally friendly form of energy.
- Safety Concerns – over the last few decades, the frequency of extreme weather phenomena such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and cyclones has increased significantly. Severe storms that can cause extensive damage to wind turbines and that can be a safety hazard to people working in wind farms are common. Massive damage could be caused to wind turbines while permanent disability could result on the side of humans working on the farms.
- Visual Impact – there’s a conflicting debate around this demerit. Now, a section of people believe that wind turbines have an undesirable experience. There are numerous court petitions where people are looking to block wind turbines projects from happening in their immediate neighborhoods. But modern wind turbines happen to be very classy and attractive. They are a lot more than those old, rusty windmills that prove to be an eyesore in the land within which they are located. So the question of visual impact really depends on who you ask. There’re both sides of the coin to this one!
These disadvantages are however not to say that this form of energy is undesirable. Massive-scale wind energy projects are helping cut down fossil fuels, and decline global warming emissions. It’s just that not all areas will work with wind turbines.