The Benefits of Wind Power
According to Chris Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute, wind power is now the fastest growing energy source on Earth and as a result has become one of the fastest growing industries on Earth. To put this in perspective, consider that at the end of 2009, the worldwide nameplate capacity of wind power generators was in the ball park of 160 gigawatts with production representing roughly 2% of the world’s power. While that might not seem like a tremendous amount it represents a substantial shift in thinking about the fuels we use to power our lives both in America and globally. As our fossil fuels continue to evaporate, the scramble to replace oil as the leading source of the Earth’s energy continues to intensify. Wind power is at or near the front of the pack because of the cost/benefit structure it provides. The primary benefits of wind power are three fold: wind energy is economically competitive, it’s a homegrown renewable resource, and its environmental impact is comparatively minimal.
The almighty dollar has more to say about when and what happens in the United States of America than any other single factor. And the facts are indisputable – wind plants compete more than favorably against any new electricity generation source. With gas and coal prices moving in an unimpeded upward trend, wind power figures to only further establish itself as an economically feasible and preferable source of energy. The costs of wind power will never increase as wind is a naturally occurring energy resource and as the price of oil and coal continue to increase, the disparity between traditional energy methods and wind power will only become more pronounced.
The United State is the single largest importer of oil and natural gas among all the countries of the world. As a result, oil exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia own a substantial portion of the American economy. Wind, in comparison is a naturally occurring, indigenous, renewable source which has the potential to alleviate American independence on foreign oil. In turn this provides American jobs and national security as the America’s energy needs can be met independently within its’ borders. Simply put, reliance on indigenous resources lessens the balance of foreign debt that threatens our national economic security.
Last but certainly not least are the many environmental benefits that would accompany a large scale shift to wind power away from traditional sources of energy such as oil & coal. Wind energy doesn’t result in the common environmental ailments we are forced to deal with in the modern world – including but limited to acid rain, global climate change, mercury contamination, regional haze, smog, water withdrawal, and other ill effects caused by the abundant production of greenhouse gases.
With all the benefits offered by wind power, it’s no wonder we are seeing such a dramatic emphasis being placed on a shift to wind power. Wind is a free source of energy, not subject to the volatile fluctuations we have come to expect from traditional fuel sources. With the economic feasibility, renewability, and environmentally friendly benefits associates with wind power, it’s no wonder that wind energy is leading the pack of alternative energy sources into the 21st century.