Wind energy has many advantages but there are some possible downsides, including: intermittency, initial costs, wildlife impact, noise and appearance. These downsides can be broadly categorized as technology, cost and environmental impact.Continue Reading
Wind energy only works when the wind is blowing at a sufficient speed. Energy is hard to store, so other forms of energy need to work in concert with wind to provide consistent reliable power. One advantage for wind compared to solar is that wind power is not based on time of day.
The cost to acquire land, install turbines and build other infrastructure is high compared to some other forms of energy. As turbine technology has improved, the costs to install and operate wind farms have come down to a rate that is competitive with other forms of energy. Efficiency is achieved by grouping many wind turbines together in high wind areas.
Wind turbines are big, and up close they are noisy, and to some they look ugly. These issues are inherent in current wind technology, so locations should be selected that conform to community standards and impact the local environment the least.
Finally, wind turbines do kill wildlife. Studies have shown that birds and bats are at risk, but the impact varies widely across wind-resource areas. Studies are ongoing to determine the factors involved to try to minimize the impact.Learn more about Environmental Science
CleanTechnica's 2012 rating of the top five micro wind turbines includes the Skystream 3.7, a product of Southwest Windpower, which qualifies for California's wind energy rebate, and the BWC Excel 10 built by Bergey Windpower, the first wind turbine to be fully certified by the American Wind Energy Association. Architectural Wind of AeroVironment is on the list for combining artistic aesthetics with technology. Portable micro turbines, as marketed by Arista Power and Skybuilt, also garner top five status.Full Answer >
As the wind hits the surface of the water, the energy transfer of the wind to the water causes the water level to rise and fall, producing waves. To generate wave energy, a technological device that sits in the water is then used to make electricity from the waves, and a cable is used to transfer this electricity to the power grid for use. One of the main benefits of this type of energy is that it is highly renewable.Full Answer >
Living and nonliving things interact with each other by forming an ecosystem, where living things can obtain nutrients and energy from nonliving things through chemical processes. The nonliving things in an environment are known as abiotic factors, while living things are known as biotic factors.Full Answer >
Nuclear fission is a clean and efficient way of producing energy but can be dangerous if safety precautions are not taken and followed. It is a controversial source of energy production that powers a large part of the world but has resulted in disastrous accidents in the past.Full Answer >