Wind Energy

What are the Disadvantages of Wind Energy?

By April 17, 2021No Comments
what are the disadvantages of wind energy

What Are The Disadvantages Of Wind Energy?

Wind energy has been a source of power for humanity since time immemorial. While wind energy was commonly used for pumping water and grinding grains in the ancient days, it is now a great source of generating electricity for homes and businesses. No doubt, wind energy is of numerous benefits, but does wind energy have its disadvantages? If yes, what are the disadvantages of wind energy?

Yes, wind energy comes with its setbacks, and here are the common challenges faced with wind energy:

What Are The Disadvantages Of Wind Energy?

Wind Is Inconsistent

There is no guarantee of the amount of wind a particular region will offer in a day. Wind speeds vary each day. This can be a disappointment to investors who have given their all to electricity production through wind turbines, only to face the challenge of fluctuating wind patterns.

Wind turbines can only harness wind energy if the wind speed is no slower than 8 miles per hour (13km/h). Too much wind speed is no good either. Wind turbines have to be shut down at 60 miles per hour (96km/h) or over.

High Upfront Costs

Though wind turbines do not require fuel to function, the initial upfront costs of installation might cause some hesitation among investors. There have been efforts to lower the costs, but the installation’s total expenditure seems to remain high.

Hence, it is important to ensure that the upfront costs are recovered in the shortest time possible. It is estimated that the average payback time is still around 15 years. One option engineers are looking into is to build wind turbines without gearboxes (transmission).

It is because turbines’ gearbox is one of the most expensive components in the wind turbine and the absence of it will lower the cost. Nevertheless, the best means to achieve attractive returns is to select a good location with an impressive amount of wind energy per day.

Also Read: What are the Advantages of Wind Energy

Wind Turbines Influence Land Usage

Once a wind turbine farm is situated on a piece of land, there are changes to how owners can continue using it. Such rules are outlined in the contract valid for the duration of the project. Most landowners are sceptical of releasing their land to wind power plant owners as they might not enjoy full access to their property due to the wind turbines.

However, there many landowners who understand the benefits of wind energy and welcome the idea of providing their land to wind farm projects. In addition, they can still use the land, for example for farming or grazing cattle.

Reduce Local Bird Population

One of the serious disadvantages of harnessing wind energy is how they can wipe out some bird species. There have been reported cases of birds colliding with turbine blades, leading to their death. There are continued efforts to make wind turbines as bird friendly as possible.

Wind turbines should be constructed in open areas with sufficient levels of winds and away from residential dwellings

Wind turbines are often constructed in open areas with sufficient levels of winds and away from residential dwellings.

Noise Pollution

Another significant disadvantage of wind turbines is the level of noise they make. This could be disturbing to the inhabitants of a local community. At around 500 meters away, a single turbine would still produce 40 decibels. This is the level of noise a refrigerator makes.

Although it is bearable, it would wear some out. The noise increases with the number of turbines installed on the farm. This is why engineers build wind farms hundreds of yards (meters) from residential areas.

Region Specific

Though wind turbines can be installed anywhere and still function, production capacities usually depend on the amount of wind in the particular region. It is important to examine the area and its wind intensity before any wind turbine farm is constructed.

The best locations for this installation are coastal or hilly areas. Hence, a country or region without these settings will not enjoy wind energy benefits to the fullest. The areas should also be open space with low vegetation. Wind turbines can produce the most amount of electricity at sea as offshore applications.