Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, unable to replenish themselves in meaningful human timeframes at a sufficient rate. As they are also the main source of energy for the entire world, scientists have worked tirelessly to find cost-effective alternatives to these fossil fuels as a way to generate electricity. In recent years up to twenty percent of the global energy consumption could be attributed to these renewable forms of energy production. Renewable sources of energy are undeniably going to replace the use of fossil fuels entirely in the near future. The most ubiquitous of these new forms of sustainable energy generation is wind energy.
Already, approximately five percent of the world wide electric power being generated comes from wind power. In Denmark, about fifty percent of the consumed electrical power can be attributed to wind energy. And they are not alone in the development of this technology. More than eighty other nations across the globe have followed suit, albeit not to such a significant extent. Although pressure from large oil and natural gas corporations has hindered the spread of renewable forms of energy for decades, the obvious benefits to the environment and economy have ensured further investment into wind energy.
Wind power is plentiful and renewable, allowing any individual to tap into the energy available in the air around us without reducing the supply. It is completely clean, producing no greenhouse gasses or waste as a byproduct. Furthermore, it consumes no water and requires the use of very little land. These factors have made it popular in nearly every region of the world.
The wind energy is produced with the use of air flow through wind turbines. These turbines then turn electrical generators, converting the mechanical energy of the wind into electrical energy. Typically, the most common method of producing wind energy is through the use of wind farms. On these wind farms, many individual turbines are connected to a shared power grid. From the power grid the electrical energy is either stored or transmitted directly to consumers.
Wind power is not without its flaws however. First and foremost among these flaws is the variable nature of the power generation. While in the long term, the wind flow is very consistent, in the short term it can prove to be unreliable. After all, it is not windy every single day of the year. Also, the initial construction costs of the wind farms is not insignificant, and these turbines require regular maintenance. Lastly, the general public remains unenthusiastic about the aesthetics of wind farms. As a result, their construction can lower property values and frustrate local communities. Despite these unfortunate flaws, wind energy is arguably the best option we have to replace the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy.