Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wind Energy

I really enjoyed the discussion because he brought up issues of small businesses making an impact and also of environmental protection versus new energy sites.
The discussion sparked my interest in researching wind energy because of the disadvantages of natural gas and coal. The article I read about wind energy is by the U.S department of Energy. Wind has many advantages such as it is one of the .." lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today", at a price of 4 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. It also takes up little space and energy companies pay the land owners for the use of land.
The article states that by 2030 , payments for wind turbines would produce more than $600 million dollars for landowners. In addition it would generate local tax revenues.
One disadvantage is that it is not necessarily going to be windy when the community needs energy. Since wind energy cannot be stored it is only a efficent source in windy areas. The biggest disadvantage is where there is space for wind power plants there is little demand for energy such as rural areas and farm land.


  1. You're right, the main problem with wind energy is that it is infrequent. Sometimes the grid is overloaded with energy to the point where the wind producer is actually PAYING to put the energy onto the grid. There is an interesting body of scientific literature dealing with natural energy storage units that would help regulate the amount of energy inflow into the grid.

  2. I think that the best solution to the storage of wind energy would be to put the job to the consumers of the energy. Every household that was supplied with wind energy could simply have a large battery located in their back yard or basement which would constantly be charged when the turbines are producing energy. When the turbines stop producing energy the household would switch to run off the battery until the wind turbine power lines began charging the battery and providing the house power again.

  3. wait a second... why exactly can't we store this kind of energy. after all, all (or most) of our energy production is fundamentally the same: producing the same electrons. So what is different about wind energy that keeps us from saving up?


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