Wind Energy Pros and Cons

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of
Wind Power?

Homeowners thinking about adding wind turbines to their property or home should consider wind energy pros and cons so they can make the best decision on whether or not it will work effectively for them.

Wind energy is one of the up and coming renewable energy sources not only in the United States, but also in many other countries around the world. Just as with any energy source however, wind has its advantages and disadvantages of wind power for the homeowner.

Pros or Advantages of Wind Energy

  • Free energy resource

  • Tax credits available in some places

  • Equipment maintenance is low

  • Economical method of generating energy

  • Potential financial incentives

  • Less dependence on foreign energy sources

  • Generates absolutely no pollution or harmful by-products

  • Can use the land for both the wind turbine and other purposes

  • Excellent for small or large farms

  • Smaller wind turbines can be used in urban areas

  • Available around the world

  • Wind energy can be stored in off-grid situations with use of backup batteries

  • One large wind turbine can produce power for many people

  • Excellent supplemental energy source to solar

Disadvantages of Wind Power

  • Wind doesn't always blow, making it a sporadic energy source rather than a consistent one

  • Initial investment into turbines and installation is higher than other renewable energy resource equipment - $40,000 to 75,000 for 10 kilowatt system

  • Wind is most readily available at higher elevations and in open rural areas “ electricity is required in the cities “ the difficult part is getting the power to those areas from rural locations of the turbines

  • Noise pollution from larger wind turbines

  • Rural land acreage can be used for a lot more than wind energy and the other uses often generate more cash

  • Neighbors don't always appreciate the sight or sound of wind turbines

  • Birds can be injured or killed when they fly around or through the turbines

  • Servicing the turbines can cost a good amount depending on how much a contractor would charge to reach the turbines

Wind Energy Pros and Cons - Can Solar and Wind Energy Work Together Effectively?

The short answer to that question is yes! Wind energy can provide backup power when the sun doesn't shine enough for the solar panel system to operate effectively. Depending on your geographical location, wind could potentially provide all of your power needs, but most people use it as a secondary source of energy in addition to solar.

Many times, when the sun isn't shining, the wind is blowing, so wind energy picks up where solar leaves off and vice-versa. Backup battery systems are essential if you want to save the wind energy not used right away. This provision does add a bit more to the initial cost of the wind turbine system, but it's well worth the investment if you want to get the most out of your free energy resource.

Hybrid systems are renewable energy systems that are sold with both solar and wind components in one package. They are most efficient for those geographic locations in the world that have more sun shining during several months of the year and more wind blowing the remaining months of the year.

The hybrid systems are excellent for capturing all the energy of the sun and for utilizing the wind energy during the peak windy times of the year. This way, a homeowner can produce energy throughout the year between the two renewable energy sources.

Single renewable energy systems are not as reliable as the hybrids simple because they utilize only one energy source. Hybrid systems also come with backup battery systems or a generator that can operate on diesel fuel in case both the sun and wind have taken a break for the day.

Wind Energy Pros and Cons A Good Starting Point

Wind energy pros and cons are important beginning points to consider if you're thinking about making an investment into wind turbines for your home or farm.

Despite the high cost of buying into a hybrid system that uses both solar energy and wind energy, homeowners continue to explore the possibilities as the benefits of renewable resources become more and more obvious.

A Few Tips

Make sure you talk to your local governing body about any existing zoning laws regarding the installation of wind turbines or solar home systems. Otherwise, you could be sorely disappointed or discouraged if you've already made the investment and then the local government informs you it must come down.

Talk to your neighbors about what you're thinking of doing so they are aware of the impact it may have on their line of sight. They should also be informed about the possible noise that the turbines make. This is a considerate step to take and one that is well worth the time and effort to keep neighbor relations friendly.

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