Tag Archives for " wind energy "

Wind Energy Pros and Cons: A Comprehensive List

wind-energy-pros-and-cons

Giving you all the facts about wind energy for a balanced debate

Long before giant wind turbines were invented, wind energy was used for a host of things like pumping water, grinding grain, propelling boats, etc. In fact, it is one of the oldest sources of power used by man! How does it work, and what are wind energy pros and cons?

In this article, I’ll give you an objective comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of wind energy. While there are, of course, both positives and negatives, many of them have been exaggerated or distorted for a variety of reasons. Today, I’ll also set the record straight on the hottest topics up for debate when it comes to wind energy.

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The Duck Curve, or the Difficulty of 100% Renewable Energy Systems

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Why’s it so hard to go to a 100% renewable energy system?

We often hear how renewable energy systems could easily power the world. Just throw up some solar and wind, add some hydro, and voila! we’re running on clean energy.

Unfortunately, though, it’s not that easy. Transferring to 100% renewable energy is fraught with difficulties, Today we’re going to focus on one huge issue with renewable energy: controllability.

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How Much Does Wind Energy Cost?

how-much-does-wind-energy-cost

Comparing the cost of wind energy to the cost of solar energy.

You might’ve heard that, at least for utilities, wind energy is a ridiculously cheap form of electricity – cheaper than any other method. But what if you want to install a small wind turbine on your own property? How much does wind energy cost? Is it a wise financial investment? How about when compared to solar?Continue reading

How to Choose the Best Home Wind Turbine

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6 suggestions to help you select the best home wind turbine

Just like with solar, which ranges from huge solar farms to small-scale residential solar installations, you now also have the option of installing the best home wind turbine for your particular situation.

Wind energy has seen a huge popularity increase over the last 10 years, mostly pushed forward by utility-scale wind farms–the rows of giant white wind turbines you’ve seen driving through the desert or plains.

Case in point: in 2016, our total wind capacity in the US equaled 82,000 megawatts. Compare that to our capacity in 2000 of just 2,539 MW and you begin to comprehend how much the industry has grown!Continue reading

What Can We Learn From Samso, the 100% Renewable Island?

samso-island-lighthouse

Samso is a small island located on the east side of the Danish peninsula.

Home to 3,800 inhabitants, Samso became world famous in 2008 for becoming the first island run on 100% renewable energy. The project initially began in 1997, when Samso won a government competition to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

Since Samso became 100% renewable, cities, countries and islands across the world have made pledges to also go 100% renewable, including Hawaii, San Diego, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, several small cities and islands are already 100% renewable, including Aspen, Colorado, and Tokelau, a small island in the South Pacific claimed by New Zealand.Continue reading

China’s Clean Energy Switch Already Slowing Climate Change

Tangshanpeng Wind Farm

What China is doing about energy is already having a measurable effect on global greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2015, the first evidence of the Beijing government’s determination to reduce carbon emissions  may have been seen globally, as it continued an unprecedented increase in carbon-free energy substitutions and cut coal use by a full third in just a year.

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Nationwide HVDC Grid: Cheapest Way to Radically Cut CO2 Emissions?

HVDCA Grid wind

According to a peer-reviewed paper just published at Nature Climate Change; “Future cost-competitive electricity systems and their impact on U.S. CO2 emissions” – the cheapest way to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions from generating electricity by 2030, would be a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid connecting America’s prime renewable resources to 256 electricity markets.

The study concludes that electricity prices could remain flat if the US could site projects for maximum generation – unconstrained by the current lack of a national HVDC grid – connecting the best carbon-free resources to load centers.

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Can Oil Companies be Forced to Switch to Clean Energy?

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A Danish oil company is bringing the first offshore wind to the US.

DONG Energy is building a massive offshore wind farm 15 miles out to sea south of Martha’s Vineyard. Their humungous 1 GW Bay State Wind project is likely to go ahead while previous attempts at developing offshore wind in the US failed.

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Australia Must Add Nearly 4 GW of Renewables in 2016

solar and wind

Australia’s coal-friendly electric retailers are falling behind targets for renewable energy.

According to the energy markets research firm Green Energy Markets (GEM), Australian utilities will need to sign 3,800 MW of contracts for new renewable energy by the end of 2016, in order to be in compliance with the renewable energy target.

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Sweden Will Be World’s First Clean Energy Powered Nation

Tiny clean energy powered Sweden is already second in the world in wind power per capita.

Sweden has almost 500 MW of wind, split between only 10 million people, so each person has almost half a kilowatt just of wind, if apportioned on a per person basis. For comparison, an average solar roof for a home is from around 2 kilowatts (if a frugal and sunny Australian home) up to about 12 kilowatts  (if an extravagant mansion in cloudy Massachusetts).

China leads the world in total built wind capacity, with some 181 GW as of the end of 2014, with the US in second place with 65 GW. But both these nations obviously have many more inhabitants than tiny Sweden with its ten million.

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