The most favorable fact about wind energy is that it produces electricity with no emissions. This means that replacing a one-megawatt coal generation facility with one megawatt of power from wind farms can eliminate 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide in a single year, as well as reducing sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions. Wind also is an inexhaustible resource.
Wind is also particularly valuable as a power-generation method since many remote areas on the globe experience winds strong enough to drive electric turbines. This allows electricity to be generated as close to the end user as possible, reducing transmission losses and the cost of building high-tension lines across long distances.
Wind farms also make great additions to agricultural operations. Windmills require lots of open space to function, but the structure does not take up much of that space, leaving plenty of land around the wind farm available for growing crops or for ranching.
Wind power alone is subject to occasional reliability issues, such as when wind speeds drop below the minimum necessary to generate power. For this reason, wind is often paired with other generation methods such as hydroelectric or solar for a more well-rounded electricity-generation profile. In addition, some countries have begun placing wind farms in coastal waters to take advantage of the nearly constant winds coming off the ocean, increasing wind's reliability and generation potential.