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Main Disadvantages With Generation of Electricity from Wind Energy

written by: Frederick•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/2/2011

Man has worked closely with nature for centuries by harnessing its power for water transportation like in the sailboat or convert wind energy to mechanical work like in drawing water. One classic example where man taps wind power is in electricity generation. Here are the main disadvantages with wind energy electricity generation.

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    Two Disadvantages With Wind Energy

    1) Intermittent high speed wind causing over-all poor stability: As wind typically is temperature driven except for other driving forces like storms or cyclones, the flow of hot air or other gases upwards is affected by a lot of factors and is not the same from one geographical region to another. Here are the negative effects of wind power intermittent speed:

    • Peak wind power in small percentages: Within a certain operating time, the peak wind power occurs in short times only or in small percentages. This eventually drops the wind power stability. With the drop in wind power stability, large mass storage are needed to smooth out the wind power or increase stability somehow. This mass storage acts as friction and eventually lowers the conversion effiencies of wind energy to electricity.
    • Low power conversion efficiency to electricity: Since kilowatt output was reduced due to low conversion efficiencies, to achieve more kilowatts of wind  power would require a greater number of wind turbines or installed capacities and this will eventually increase the investment cost.

     2) Geographical location and seasonal or weather effects: Another unavoidable fact that makes wind power generation expensive is due to varying wind speed from one geographical region to another. Also, there are certain geographical locations not much greatly affected by seasonal changes or weather effects. This boils down to the fact that only limited geographical locations are viable for wind turbine installation which again raises the investment cost as it need long transmission lines. Further, there are high cost due to long transmission lines as a result limited regional areas are viable for wind turbine installation.

    Despite of all these challenges in wind energy electricity generation, the benefits that could be obtained in utilizing wind energy could not be compared being a good renewable power source, zero carbon emmissions and pollution, clean fuel and widely available.