The hard facts about wind energy

I usually only write about things you can do to lower your utility bill ,  but there’s a few things everybody should know about our green energy.  Last post was about solar power and how expensive it is, and how its just not a good choice yet.  The next big topic when discussing green energy is Wind energy and wind turbines.

English: The , also known as the Green Mountai...

English: The , also known as the Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm, near . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wind energy and turbines are a hot topic right now.  The governments talking about them, private companies are talking about them, and some home owners are talking about them.  Especially if you have one in your town.  Wind turbines are usually seen in the prairies and flat lands, but they are slowly making their way to the east coast.  It really looks like a good idea.  Wind is free, its green (obviously), and its renewable.  Turbines look like everything you would want in producing clean energy.  There’s just one problem.  Actually there’s a few problems.  Problems you wont hear many people talk about.

  1. Turbines are expensive.  They can cost between 1.5 -2 million dollars to build and install.
  2. Turbines are HUGE.  The typical commercial turbine is 400 feet tall. That’s the height of a 40 story building.  So if you live in the mid west and you enjoy the view, if there’s a wind farm close by its obvious.   Its not that they are ugly, its just that they are not natural.  Its the same as looking at rows of cel towers.  I’m not sure anybody would want to see that on a daily basis.  Not to mention some companies are using the space on the side to advertise business.
  3. Turbines don’t last forever.  They have to be replaced every 20 years.  Now without showing you a bunch of math figures and charts, the payoff for these turbines are between 15-20 years.  Now this depends on how much electricity it produces, but most provide enough energy to pay for themselves in 15-20 years.  That’s just about enough time for some body to spend another 1.5 million dollars to replace it.

So why are we using wind energy?  That’s a good question.  We have to do something.  We cant just sit around and keep burning up the same electricity.  I’m glad that we have companies attempting to harness wind energy, and solar energy, technology just hasn’t caught up yet.