Texas is known for its oil and gas industry. But this state is also considered a leader in the use of renewable energy, particularly wind energy. One of the largest wind farms, the Rosco Wind Farm, is located in the heart of this state.
What exactly are the advantages of wind energy? And what are the challenges to expect in trying to harness this reusable energy source? Let’s find out.
The Advantages of Wind Energy
It’s a cost-effective, clean and renewable source of energy.
Unlike energy sourced from oil or gas, wind energy does not pollute the air or emit harmful greenhouse gases. Its turbines rely solely on a free resource of wind power to generate electricity.
Wind energy is one of the most cost-effective options for renewable energy, especially since its equipment does not need oil or gas. It is always readily available, unlike other forms of energy.
Texas, in this scenario, is lucky since it has thriving oil, gas, and wind industries. Other states, however, need to import their oil and gas. But, if these states have wind farms, they can benefit from a local source of renewable energy.
It contributes to the local economy.
According to the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the wind energy sector creates jobs for many people. More 100,000 workers were employed in the wind sector in 2016.
The sector needs skilled people for the manufacture, installation, support, and maintenance of the wind energy equipment. This encompasses quite a large field of expertise. The sector, for example, needs engineers who can develop custom compression springs for the turbines and construction laborers who can prepare a site and install the infrastructure of a wind farm. It is also a lucrative business for property owners who choose to rent out their land to a wind energy company.
The Disadvantages of Wind Energy
It is expensive to set up.
Even though technological advances have made it possible to build better wind farms, the capital needed for such a structure is still high. This makes it difficult for interested parties to set up their wind farms. So there are only a few of these developments in the USA today.
It has specific requirements.
Although wind is a renewable source of energy, a wind farm requires constant wind power. So, wind farms ideally have to be created in remote areas where this resource is strong. This presents the problem of getting this renewable energy source to people who live far from the wind farm.
It impacts the local environment.
The turbines of a wind farm are noisy. Although it does not pollute the surroundings, it might be hard to have humans living close to it. It can also present problems to the local avian population as they are prone to flying into the turbines.
Just like other renewable sources of energy, wind energy has more long-term benefits that outweigh its current disadvantages. Perhaps future technological innovations will be able to solve the challenges that the sector faces today.