Is the power of wind the best source of renewable energy for the environment, and for you? There are many ways to look at this question, and ultimately you must decide for yourself the best type of energy you want to use. First, it must be discussed what types of energies are available, and what types are considered renewable.
Most people use electricity in their homes to power many items, and provide most of their energy needs. For this discussion, we will limit ourselves to a discussion of how that energy, electricity, is produced to be used by us, the ultimate end user. There are a few ways this electricity may be produced.
- It might be produced by a large Electric Service Provider, such as a Utility Company, and the electricity is made by them by burning non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas and producing electricity by the use of steam turbine electric generators.
- It might be produced by a large Electric Service Provider, and the electricity may be made by them by using a nuclear reactor to operate steam turbine electric generators.
- It might be produced by a large Electric Service Provider, and the electricity may be made by a Hydroelectric Power Plant, where the flow of water turns turbines which generate electric power.
- It might be produced by a large Electric Service Provider, and the electricity is produced by giant wind turbines on what are called “wind farms”.
- It might be produced locally, by the actual end user of the electricity at their own home with a solar electric generation array.
- It might be produced locally, by the actual end user of the electricity at their own home with a wind powered electric turbine.
Obviously, continuing to burn non-renewable resources to create electricity is no longer the best method for a environmentally friendly way to create energy. The use of nuclear reactors to make electricity is a low pollution method, and does not use a lot of non-renewable energy. The chances of a nuclear accident, and the dangers associated with nuclear power make it probably not the safest or best choice for alternative energy production. The use of hydroelectric power to create electricity is an excellent choice of renewable energy production except for a few limiting factors. There are not enough locations where hydroelectric generators can be used, and even though the electricity is clean, to create the reservoirs and lakes necessary to build hydroelectric generators, rivers must be dammed and entire ecosystems and wetland areas flooded. This procedure is not environmentally friendly. The use of wind farms by large utility companies is an excellent source of electricity using renewable means. Unfortunately, utility companies have been very slow in building and converting to these wind farms. Which leaves the final two choices, producing the electricity locally, by the end user, on site with either solar power generators or wind powered turbines.
Solar and wind are excellent uses of renewable energy for the creation of electricity to power the home. The choice to be made between the two basically comes down to how much sunlight is available, and how much average wind is available. For a location without much sun, but with a lot of wind, obviously, a wind powered generator would be the better choice. For the opposite situation, a lot of sun but little wind, solar power is the way to go. The best situation, a very windy, sunny location, then a hybrid installation perhaps would be the best way to go. And for areas with little sunshine and little wind, well, perhaps another method can be found for energy. Cut back on the use of electricity all together. Heat the home with renewable sources such as wood, wood pellets being an excellent choice.
Finally, it is up to the end consumer to determine which is the best way for them to reduce their reliance on energy produced by non-renewable means. Producing their own electricity either by wind power or sun power is the cleanest, probably cheapest way to go.