Pot of Gold or Real Solution?

Posted on December 26, 2008. Filed under: General |

Dennis Briley, RENEW board member and former board president, sent an article by Jenna Kennedy from the Daily Yonder. The article won the Missouri Farmer Union’s 2008 student contest.

It may not be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but there are financial gains to be had in wind power. Wind power, also known as wind energy, is the conversion of wind energy into useful form such as electricity using wind turbines. Wind energy is renewable, clean, widely distributed, plentiful, and reduces green house gas emissions, unlike fossil fuels.

The placement of wind turbines is critical in the economic development of wind power. Many factors are considered in the placement site of a wind turbine, such as the availability of wind, the cost of land acquisition, land use consideration, the availability of transmission lines, and the value of energy to be produced. Offshore locations offset higher construction cost with higher annual load factors. This reduces the cost of energy produced. A “water pumping windmill” is powered by wind to keep storage tanks flowing with non-polluted water. The development of the “water-pumping windmill” was a major factor in allowing the ranching and farming of broad areas of North America that were empty of accessible water.

Recently, I visited King City, Missouri, where wind turbines are in use at this time. As I did more research and asked more questions to people that had a lot of information for me, I learned that the environmental effects of wind power are minor. Often the main complaint about the installation of wind turbines is the danger to bats and birds. However studies show that the number of birds killed by a wind turbine is insignificant compared to the number that die from other human activities.


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