Wind Energy

Green Energy:

  • Wind Power is Inexhaustible
    • Wind is simply air in motion. It is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. Because the Earth’s surface is made of very different types of land and water, it absorbs the sun’s heat at different rates
    • Until the sun stops burning, or the Earth loses its atmosphere, we will have wind. This means that unlike other sources of electricity, like coal or natural gas, we will not run out of wind energy
  • “Free Energy”
    • The start up costs for a wind turbine might be a bit high still, but with the ever-decreasing costs, return on capital investments takes much less time
    • With minimal maintenance costs, government grants, and stimulus money, a wind turbines lifespan of 20-25 years is more than enough time to recoup any capital investments and much more
  • Environmentally friendly
    • Unlike most other sources of electricity, wind turbines do not harm the environment
    • There are claims against wildlife endangerment, especially bird deaths, but when we compare the deaths caused by birds flying into building and cell towers, killed by house cats, and wind turbines in North America per year, we see a different story:
      • 6.8 million deaths are caused by collision into cell and radio towers
      • 1.4 to 3.7 billion deaths are caused by house cats
      • 214,000 to 368,000 deaths are caused by wind turbines
      • These numbers show that less than 0.1% of bird deaths outside of natural causes are due to wind turbines

Canadian Perspective:

  • Wind farms
    • By the end of 2016 there were 272 wind farms in action across Canada
    • 12 of 13 Canadian provinces and territories have wind farms
  • Energy provided
    • By the end of 2016 11,898 MW of power was being produced by wind power
      • This surmounts to enough power for 3 million homes
      • It also represents 6% of Canada’s electricity demand
    • The Canadian government has plans to produce 20% of Canada’s electricity demand from wind by 2025
  • Job creation
    • Estimated 3,900-4,400 jobs will be created per year during wind turbine construction phases in Ontario
    • Estimated 600+ permanent maintenance jobs would be created after turbine installations in Ontario
    • If the $1.3 billion investment that goes into the oil industry, went into renewable energy initiatives, there would be 18,000-20,000 jobs created compared to 3,000 jobs from the oil industry

Technology Advancement:

  • The growth of the wind industry pushes innovators around the world to come up with new technologies which are more efficient, quieter, and less intrusive. Just like any other technology, over time more advances will surface and better solutions will be created. Below are a few which are already in development
  • Bladeless wind turbines
    • This new design by Vortex Bladeless is a promising advancement in wind technology
    • Using the scientific principles of natural frequency and vorticity, the turbine oscillates in swirling air caused by wind bypassing the mast, and then builds exponentially as it reaches the structures natural resonance
    • This technology is already showing 40% of wind energy collection
    • Due to there being no blades on the turbine, they can be more densely spaced, resulting in higher energy collection per square kilometer
    • Another benefit to the bladeless system is that the manufacturing and operational costs are lower
    • This results in approximately 40% lower costs per megawatt of generation
  • Tall Wind
    • Currently, the wind turbines we are using are placed on land, and there are many restrictions on their height. This is not a good situation for wind turbines, as the higher they are the more power they can gather. High-altitude winds are stronger and blow faster
    • Some companies like Altaeros, KiteGen and NTS X-Wind, are trying to bypass this barrier by employing kite-like systems
    • Their plan is to develop a buoyant Airborne Turbine that looks like a huge balloon and uses a helium-filled shell to lift turbines 2000 feet off the ground. At this altitude, the turbines should be able to produce approximately 4x more energy