Essay on Renewable Energy : Wind Power

Essay on Renewable Energy : Wind Power

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One of the fastest growing and most promising renewable energy source within the United States is wind power. The most prevalent form of wind power generation comes from large fields containing numerous elevated turbines (Fthenakis). These fields are known as wind farms and are connected directly to electric power systems. Using turbines to harness the wind offers the United States, as well as the world, an opportunity to generate huge amounts of energy in a clean process that has little to no negative effects on the environment. To examine the future of this energy source, one must look at the advantages that come with wind energy including the costs involved in wind project development, the state of the United States’ energy portfolio, and the environmental benefits of using wind power. By doing this we can gain a better understanding of where wind power stands currently in the energy industry, and what its future might hold.
The energy industry typically uses LCOE, or levelized cost of energy, to find a reasonable figure to cost of different types of electricity generation. This method finds the total cost, on average, to build and operate an energy generating asset and then divides this by the amount of energy produced throughout the asset’s lifetime. OpenEl, an energy data analysis website started by the United States Department of Energy, found that as of 2015 onshore wind wind energy had a median LCOE of 60 USD/MWh (OpenEl, 2015). This places the cost of using wind power lower than using fossil fuels, as well as other renewables such as geothermal, solar, and hydropower. Not only is it already one of the least expensive methods of producing electricity, but as technology advances within the industry, onshore wind power is...


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...ased interest in the preservation of the environment. Wind turbines lack of greenhouse gas emittance, insignificant use of water resources, and minimal impact on local habitats have made it one of the cleanest forms of energy, in stark contrast to the traditional sources of electric power generation. This has led to increased subsidies from the United States government for wind power investments and research which will only increase the rate of technological development within the industry. Overall, renewable energy sources are the next big players in the future of the energy industry. With environmental concerns high, the future holds that renewables will continue to grow, taking over for the fossil fuels of old. Among these renewables, wind power has started to emerge as a prime alternative with many advantages on its side and suffering from very little drawbacks.

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