To conclude the celebration of Earth Day, today we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of wind energy. According to www.clean-energy-ideas.com, the wind is one of the most popular renewable energy sources today. The wind has a wide range of benefits and has been used for thousands of years for sailing and milling. The wind is renewable and a sustainable resource. Unlike fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), wind power will never be depleted. This makes wind energy an attractive option.

Wind energy is a boon to the environment. This is based on the fact that wind power doesn’t create any pollution while generating electricity. Most non-renewables need to be burnt. This causes gases such as carbon dioxide and methane to be released into the atmosphere. These gases are know to accelerate climate change (and health problems). Wind turbines don’t create any greenhouse gases.

On the other hand, many people believe wind turbines are guilty of visual and noise pollution because of their size and the noise they emit while turning. But these characteristics don’t affect the earth, water table, or air quality. Wind energy reduces fuel consumption. It helps us conserve fossil fuels.

Another plus is that wind energy is free. People use wind energy in recreation such as sailing and wind surfing. Utilities use it to power wind turbines to generate electricity. Wind farms can include hundreds of turbines. Utilities sell this electricity at market-friendly prices.

Wind turbines for the most part use a relatively small area of land. They are mostly found in fields, on hilltops, or out at sea. These locations do not interfere with their usage. Farmers can still farm the field, livestock can still graze the land, and fisherman can still fish the waters.

Wind turbines come in different sizes besides massive. Smaller, less powerful turbines can be found all over. They are a good match for farms, factories, and private homes. Portable wind turbines can power smaller devices. At this point, smaller wind turbines can play a small role powering a home’s electricity. They are often matched with solar and geothermal sources.

www.clean-energy-ideas reports that wind energy can provide electricity to remote locations.

Whether it’s a small town or research facilities off the grid, having electricity readily available is a plus.

Wind technology is getting cheaper. Since the first turbine in 1888, turbines have become better and more affordable. The wind market is booming. Wind turbines are low maintenance and have a comparably low running cost.

The location of a turbine is important. The blades require a certain amount of mph to produce enough power. Wind energy is everywhere. Finding suitable areas for wind farms is less of a problem than other energy sources. By using renewables for energy, we are becoming energy independent. This is a plus for our national security. Finally, the wind industry creates jobs, in 2017, there were 1.5 million people with wind energy jobs. Jobs exist for locating prime location areas, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of wind turbines.

Wind turbines also generates some negatives, often inspired by the NIMBY philosophy (not in my backyard). Here are some drawbacks: wind fluctuates although it will never exhaust itself.

But wind speed is not constant. Utility entrepreneurs search for promising wind farm locations.

Wind farms need adequate wind. That’s why more and more turbines at sea and on hilltops.

Wind turbines are expensive. Engineers must find suitable spots. After that, the turbine components must be bought, installed, and transported. All of this is costly.

Wind turbines have a modest effect on wildlife, such as bats and birds. One of its biggest flaws for many, is the noise produced by wind turbines. This has soured the home ownership experience for some. But new builders appear to be building away from population centers. As previously mentioned, another negative for some people is the way turbines look. Ugly. But wait. Other people like the way they look. Cool. Futuristic.

Wind energy will be a major player in slowing climate change. Don’t be surprised if you see more of them in your travels. America is slowly integrating renewables into the economy. An accelerated schedule would help. Climate change isn’t going away.

Alan Lossner is a retired Webster County educator. You may reach him at lossnera@bellsouth.net.