Wind energy is a low-cost alternative to traditional sources of energy and will be a viable source for electricity in all 50 states by 2050. This renewable resource will decrease future price spikes and supply disruptions, while supporting a strong domestic supply chain and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Wind turbines are easily installed on existing land and will require no specialized infrastructure. By 2050, the amount of wind energy produced is estimated to save the electric utility industry over $280 billion.
Another important benefit of wind energy is that it is free energy for homes. Wind turbines can be installed on private property or by utility companies. Wind energy is also environmentally friendly, which makes it an excellent hedge against volatile fuel costs. Additionally, wind energy supports 120,000 jobs in the United States, with more jobs predicted to be created every year. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 96% growth in wind technician jobs over the next decade. This makes wind technicians the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.
However, wind energy has its pros and cons. Some renewable energies work better in certain regions than others, so it’s important to know which resource is most suitable for your region. It’s also important to note that the wind is a powerful renewable resource and doesn’t depend on the direct exposure to sunlight to generate electricity. If you are interested in generating your own electricity, wind energy is an excellent alternative to fossil fuels.
In addition to its benefits, wind energy also contributes to the US electricity grid. Compared to fossil fuels, wind energy is cheap and requires no combustion process. Its operating costs are low per kilowatt and require very little maintenance. Wind farms are built in depopulated areas with stronger winds. With this technology becoming more widely available, wind energy employment is expected to continue to grow. The study also recommends using wind energy in areas where the wind is stronger.
As the earth is not covered by the sun’s radiation, not all parts of the globe receive the same amount of it. Areas that receive higher temperatures and less heaviness create low pressure areas while cooler areas experience high pressure. This difference in pressure causes air to rise and fall, resulting in wind. Wind farms are great options for generating renewable energy and decreasing carbon footprint. A wind turbine will pay for itself in 6 months and will also provide decades of zero-emission energy.
Wind power has been around since humans put sails into the wind. King Hammurabi’s Codex mentions windmills as a way to generate mechanical energy. Wind-powered machines were developed in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as early as the ninth century. In addition to being used in dry regions, wind power was also used in fast-flowing streams to pump water to livestock. Some countries even began wind-powered steam engines.
Wind turbines are able to harness only about 1% of the energy produced by wind. But if you’re looking to build a wind turbine in a good windy area, you can expect to see about 3 W/m2. But the space that is left after a wind farm’s footprint is useful for other uses. Wind energy experts argue that wind turbines require less than 1% of the land, including roads, foundations, and access roads, which means that the rest of the land can be used for farming and other uses.
Offshore wind is also another viable option for wind power. Wind turbines in the oceans are becoming increasingly common in many parts of the world. They have the potential to provide more than 4,000 gigawatts of power, which is four times the present capacity of the U.S. electric power system. Offshore wind also offers tremendous potential. It could be available in all coastal regions by 2050. And in the United States, offshore wind energy is a relatively new industry. The first offshore wind farm in America was powered up in December 2016, and the first U.S. offshore wind farm will be operational in the state of Rhode Island by 2050.
The nation’s wind resources are plentiful and unrestricted. In fact, one ridge in southwest Minnesota could produce as much wind-generated electricity as California produces today. Another site in Montana could provide up to 17 times more wind generation than the entire state of California. Moreover, according to the Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, the contiguous USA has enough wind resources to provide about 27% of its electrical demand.