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Pros and Cons of Wind-Generated Texas Electricity

January 31, 2011
by admin

Most people are aware that fossil fuel resources are slowly being depleted resulting in higher prices of commodities such as electricity that rely heavily on such resources. Another side to the picture is the known impact of the use of fossil fuels on the environment, particularly on the effect of carbon emissions on global warming. This prompted a global focus on cleaner and renewable forms of generating electricity such as wind power. Wind energy leaves no carbon footprint and is one of the most viable forms of renewable energy. Texas is at the forefront in the development of wind power for the generation not only of Texas electricity but for other regions of the country as well. In an energy deregulated market, Texas residents have the power to choose their electricity options which include utilities that make use of renewable resources such as wind energy. There are however, certain advantages and disadvantages with the use of wind-generated Texas electricity that consumers should know about. Although the pros would far outweigh the cons in terms of environmental impact and its viability as an alternative resource for generating power, future developments in wind energy technologies are pushed further in order to mitigate all the potential disadvantages this energy source can bring. The Benefits of Wind-Generated Texas Electricity The following describes some of the benefits wind-generated Texas electricity can give to consumers. * Wind energy is a safe, non-polluting, and renewable source for generating cheap electricity. Wind farms has minimal or no carbon footprint and do not produce harmful or radioactive by-products. * Wind energy has no need for fossil fuels as it relies on free and available wind power. Harnessing the power of the wind is a proven and reliable technology that would provide consumers with a viable source for Texas electricity. * As wind energy technologies continue development, the initial cost of equipments such as wind turbines continue to go down and become much more affordable. * The construction, operation and maintenance of wind energy farms across various locations in the state and in the country would provide more green-collar jobs for the public. Issues Associated with Wind-Generated Texas Electricity There are certain issues and disadvantages raised with the generation and use of wind energy some of which are outlined in the following. * Wind energy relies on wind power to generate electricity. Without the wind, no electricity can be generated. * In most cases, wind power is abundant in areas that are far from populated urban areas where the generated electricity is needed. This would necessitate the need for transmission facilities to transfer this generated power from the wind farms to the consumers – and this would increase the initial cost. * Another significant source of the high initial cost in establishing wind farms is the relatively high cost of equipments such as the wind turbines that can go as high as 20 stories with blades that can go as long as a standard football field. * Detractors of wind energy have pointed out the noise factor that wind turbines can generate particularly during periods when wind power is low. Aside from that, these detractors also pointed out the potential for interference on television and radio signals that the massive wind turbine structures can cause. New designs however, are being implemented on the latest and most modern wind turbines aims to reduce these impacts. * Another issue against wind energy farms is the danger it can pose to migrating birds. A considerable number of these birds meet their demise as they flow through the moving wind turbines. Newer wind turbine designs include larger and slower moving blades that would give more room for birds to dodge through and avoid fatal contact. Despite the several disadvantages that wind-generated Texas electricity may pose, the technology still has more valuable advantages over fossil-fuels such as coal, gas and oil. As current fossil fuel reserves continue to dwindle, the future of Texas electricity will rely more and more on alternative and renewable energy resources – and wind energy will be at the forefront.

One Response leave one →
  1. Macktilda permalink
    February 10, 2011

    Thank you for at least being honest enough to admit the numerous problems associated with wind generators. However, your article is still heavily biased against traditional energy sources; which brings the article’s integrity into question.

    First, there are more known, proven hydrocarbon reserves in this country than at any other time in recorded history. Technology advances seem to make it likely that the amount of recoverable oil & gas will continue to climb for several more years. In other words, oil and gas are NOT in short supply and the current high prices have nothing to do with supply but the falling value of the dollar. What IS in short supply is the ability for us to access our natural resources. We are not allowed to drill on land, and now not allowed to drill at sea. The EPA, Interior Department and other regulatory agencies have worked tirelessly to shutdown project after project for no good reason other than the current administration’s apparent fixation with the death of the oil & gas industry. Now the EPA is looking at the production of Natural Gas from “Fracing” and it is logical to assume they will heavily regulate/restrict tapping into that natural resource as well.

    Second, the science is far from settled as to whether carbon dioxide is in fact a cause of global warming or whether it’s a lagging indicator. Those who claim carbon dioxide is a pollutant are engaging in the worst kind of junk science and perhaps even environmental terrorism. They shout the science is settled and refuse to even consider further study of the issue to resolve legitimate questions. They simply cast all opposition as liars, simpletons or lackeys of the oil & gas industry. In other words, they are doing their level best to shutdown any dissenting points of view, seeing themselves as the one true “God” of climate science. Keep in mind that these same scientists were gloomily predicting global cooling just a few decades ago!!! Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. If it is, every human being is guilty of polluting with every breath exhaled. Debunking the man-made global warming claims would take much more time and space than I’m prepared to expend today so I’ll stop there for now.

    Next, I am all for adding alternative forms of energy such as wind and solar into the mix but they need to stand on their own merits and not be propped up by government subsidies or credits. And their use & implementation should not require taxing carbon dioxide as a means to make them competitive. But putting all that aside for a moment, there are other substantial hurdles for solar & wind to overcome in order to become mainstream players in our nation’s electric system. In addition to the problems you highlighted in your article there is the problem of scope. The number of wind farms needed to make up a respectable percentage of our needs is huge. I read an article discussing putting wind mills out at sea off the east coast. The article was talking about a wind farm that would run the entire 2200 miles north to south, and it would also need to run out into the ocean for over 100 miles in order to meet the project’s desired generating capacity. Does that sound cheap? Does that sound like a low maintenance environment? Does that sound like a project that could be pushed through the permitting process? Well, at least we can answer that last question. No way could a company get such a project approved. Heck, much smaller “green” projects are already running into stiff opposition. The “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome is now being used for solar & wind projects which just goes to show the power of the environmental protest business machine. That’s right, environmental protesting or blocking all progress is now big business.

    Finally, this bull snot about “green” collar jobs needs to stop. The last thing this country needs is one more way to divide us. By conveying special status for those “green” jobs you are disparaging everyone else who doesn’t have a “green” job. And it is no bargain for this country if 600 workers lose their decent paying jobs at a power plant and 50 low paying “green” jobs lubricating wind mills and dusting off solar cells are created instead. When you look at any “green” job being created you should also look at how many traditional jobs are being sacrificed in the process to get the true impact.

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