There are currently many wind power myths associated with this type of alternative energy that may be contributing to the slow production of new wind farms. By addressing each issue we can begin to filter out the bad information from the legitimate concerns facing one of the most beneficial alternative energies.
1. Wind energy is more expensive than traditional fossil fuels.
Though using wind to generate electricity can raise the operating costs of a particular company, studies have shown this is a relatively small increase. A study done by the Colorado Public
Service Commission about the effects of a large wind farm, reported that this technology was the cheapest alternative energy model proposed. Furthermore, with the increase in the price of oil and violate possibilities of the future, wind energy proves to be on par with current operating costs. Not to mention, the damage to the environment will cost much more to repair than spending a bit more up front to prevent long term environmental damage.
2. Tax breaks and incentives are the only way to produce wind energy on par with current economics.
True, but nearly all energy sources receive tax breaks and subsidies from federal funding. Why would wind energy and alternative energy be any different.
3. Unpredictability of wind energy requires backup power generation.
No current energy source is reliable 100% of the time. By increasing and weaving the current power grid to other forms of alternative energy and current backup energy sources, near 100% reliability can be achieved. Though relying totally on wind energy is not viable at this moment, expanding our current power grids to include 25-50% wind power generation is not far fetched.
4. By migrating our current coal energy plants to wind, consumers will experience rate increases.
Studies in New York have shown that wind energy is nearly the same rates as current technologies. In fact, some areas experienced a decline in rates. Lower fuel costs could follow the decrease in reliance on fossil fuels for electricity. The bottom line, wind is a cheap and healthy alternative energy.
5. Wind turbines are dangerous to birds and the environment.
Just the opposite. With the exception of Altamont Pass in California, wind energy has been able to be implemented without affecting the local wildlife. Birds can and do navigate the slow moving turbine blades effectively. Fossil fuels and greenhouse gases cause more destruction to wildlife and nature than a traditional wind turbine. With newer innovations and technologies to wind turbine design, this will become a non-issue.
By addressing the concerns of alternative energy sources, we can begin to arrive at an effective, cheap, and renewable energy that will help to reduce our effect on the environment.
For some basic information about wind energy and how it works. Visit the Energy Information Administration website. Though it is designed with children in mind, this is a great site to learn the basics.
Also, T. Boone Pickens has started a website dedicated to expanding the wind energy sector. Some very good information and networking opportunities. Visit the Pickens Plan Website.