“Give Wind a Chance”

Monday, September 09, 2012
Wind Power
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Sustainability being a subject of a greater concern today, one of the sustainable ways to generate electricity is wind energy. Wind energy has the minimal impact on the environment growing its popularity worldwide.

Nevertheless, there are few public concerns over the power produced by wind. Noise produced by the spinning of the blade is one of them. Like all the other operating mechanical system, the spinning of the blades undoubtedly produces sound. The noise produced by the turbine is mainly the mechanical noise from the gearbox & the generator and the aerodynamic noise from that of the blade. But with the improvement of technologies lately newer turbines produce lesser noise than the old ones. The mechanical noise has been eliminated by insulating the nacelle. Renewable UK, a wind energy trade organization, has said that the noise measured 305 meters (1,000 ft) from a wind farm is less than that from normal road traffic.

Bird/Bat Mortality has also been another issue that concerns the conservationist. Wind turbines; a tall vertical structure with moving blades may represent a risk to birds/bats. The main factors which determine the mortality of birds by collision in wind turbines are landscape topography and specific spatial distribution of turbines on the location. Direction and strength of local winds and turbine design characteristics also may add on to such incidences. However, these can be minimized by a prior survey of the landscape siting and planning in accordance with bird’s behavior, wind and topography. Also, making the moving turbine more visible will certainly guide the birds to fly past it.

We admire our beautiful landscapes and sceneries, anything blocking its view will certainly take a toll in its aesthetic values. Therefore, cluttered wind farms may look ugly and block the scenery. However, aesthetic issues are subjective; some might not prefer the huge machines blocking their view while some might find them pleasant symbol of local prosperity. Thereby, placing the wind turbines in a planned spatial manner will curtail the obstruction and be represented as a landmark of the location instead. In the mishap of 1989-Mustang; turbines broke down after 3 months of construction period. More importantly such incidences are the foremost concern of wind farm construction. The breakage of the spinning blade in proximity of public access is dangerous. So, health and safety have to be considered by proper setting up of the turbines in a suitable location by the professionals, keeping all policy imperatives in mind.

The overall impacts of wind farm on energy sector far outweigh the few cons as listed above. Furthermore, they are environmentally much sounder than other sources of power generations. With the growing concern of climate change and several mitigation remedy to combat the impact, we need to focus on a cleaner source of energy generation: So! Give Wind a chance!

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