Wind Energy Currently the World Research Paper

Pages: 6 (2360 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Energy

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
According to Thresher, Robinson & Veers 28 states in the contiguous 48 states with a coastal boundary use 78% of the nation's electricity (355). Bohn & Lant explain that offshore, wind potential is also significant in the Pacific Northwest, and the Mid-Atlantic coastline has a generation potential of 330,000 MW compared to the regions current electricity use, which is estimated at 73,000 MW (88). The land-based and offshore wind resources have been estimated to be sufficient to supply the electrical energy needs of the entire country several times over (Thresher et al. 341).

There are several concerns with the use of wind power. These include intermittency, aesthetic issues, and concerns about impacts to wildlife. According to Kaygusuz a key issue in the application of wind energy to replace substantial amounts of other electrical production is intermittency (129). It is presently unclear whether wind energy will eventually be sufficient to replace other forms of electricity production; however, this does not mean wind energy cannot be a significant source of clean electrical production on a scale comparable to or greater than other technologies, such as hydropower. Kaygusuz adds that while the negative effects of intermittency have to be considered in the economics of power generation, wind is unlikely to suffer momentary failure of large amounts of generation, which may be a concern with some traditional power plants (131).

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Another argument used to oppose wind farms is that they ruin valued landscapes (Warren & Birnie 110). Bohn & Lant add "Wind turbines make an imposing visual impact on the landscape, potentially changing its character; although this serves to point out to the public that electricity must come from somewhere beyond the wall socket and always has environmental impacts" (89). The BLM suggests that proper decisions about windmill farm sites can help to avoid any aesthetic impacts to the landscape. One strategy being used to partially offset visual impacts is to site fewer turbines in any one location by using multiple locations and by using today's larger and more efficient models of wind turbines.

Research Paper on Wind Energy Currently the World's Assignment

Additionally, some have concerns about the danger to birds from wind turbines. Kaygusuz explains that while wind turbines might impact the numbers of some bird species, conventionally powered fuel plants could wipe out hundreds or even thousands of the world's species through climate change, acid rain, and pollution (132). Onshore and near shore studies cited by Kaygusuz show that the number of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible compared to the number that die as a result of other human activities such as traffic, hunting, power lines, and high-rise buildings, and especially the environmental impact of using non-clean power sources (132). For example, in the UK where there are several hundred turbines, about one bird is killed per turbine per year; 10 million birds are killed by cars alone. In the U.S. onshore and near-shore turbines kill 70,000 birds per year, compared to 57 million killed by cars. Another study suggests that migrating birds adapt to obstacles; those birds that don't modify their route and continue to fly through a wind farm are capable of avoiding the large offshore windmills (Kaygusuz 132).

All of the literature reviewed support the use of wind energy as a clean, affordable, renewable, and abundant domestic source of electricity. Warren & Birnie conclude that "given the combined imperatives of the need to combat climate change, to provide energy security and to meet rising energy demands, new renewable energy sources have inevitably come to the forefront of contemporary policy debate" (102). Demirbas adds "wind energy is abundant, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and mitigates the greenhouse effect if it is used to replace fossil-fuel-derived electricity" (218). Finally Bohn & Lant explain "The environmental benefits of wind-powered electricity, combined with its recent achievement (with the help of the production tax credit) of cost-effectiveness relative to electricity derived from coal, nuclear power, or natural gas, have initiated a rapid increase in wind farm development in the United States that is likely to continue and may even accelerate if regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is implemented" (98).

Works Cited

Bohn, Christiane, and Christopher Lant. "Welcoming the Wind? Determinants of Wind Power Development among U.S. States." Professional Geographer 61.1 (2009): 87-100. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.

Demirbas, A. "Global Renewable Energy Projections." Energy Sources Part B: Economics, Planning & Policy 4.2 (2009): 212-224. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.

Kaygusuz, K. "Wind Power for a Clean and Sustainable Energy Future." Energy Sources Part B: Economics, Planning & Policy 4.1 (2009): 122-133. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.

Leipoldt, Erik. "What Are The Wind Energy Facts On The Renewable Wind Energy Industry?" Alternate Energy Sources.com. (2010) Web. 6 June 2011. http://www.alternate-energy-sources.com/wind-energy-facts.html

Massachusetts. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Wind Energy Facts. Web. 6 June 2011. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eoeeaterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Energy%2c+Utilities+%26+Clean+Technologies&L2=Renewable+Energy&L3=Wind&sid=Eoeea&b=terminalcontent&f=doer_renewables_wind_wind-energy-facts&csid=Eoeea

McGowan, Jon G., and Stephen R. Connors. "WINDPOWER: A Turn of the Century Review." Annual Review of Energy & the Environment 25.1 (2000): 147. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.

Pasqualetti, Martin J. "Wind Power." Environment 46.7 (2004): 22-38. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.

Thresher, Robert, Michael Robinson, and Paul Veers.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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