Monday, August 13, 2012

The ecological aspect of wind energy

Nowadays, most of ecological problems of world industry are closely connected to mining, transportation or any other activity related to fuel usage. It seems reasonable that renewable energy sources are acknowledged as green ones, as their impact on natural environment carries less destruction and contamination. Precisely, the idea of green technologies is going to change the plot of global economy development and its influence on natural habitat of animals, forest areas and vegetation. It is appropriate to pick up a certain example to show how non-traditional energy source can improve human-nature relationship.

Wind energy, as a consistent part of modern energy production, has been used for many centuries. At first, people appreciated wind speed and its directions for navigation purposes, and then it was associated with windmills’ functioning and grain milling. Modern age features the progress of science and technology that allowed usage of wind premises in generation of electricity. In comparison to fuel mining, this type of energy industry is based on more peaceful treatment to nature, as far as wind energy is unlimited and there is no way to provide significant pollutions or constitute a menace for species number.

In developed countries big land spaces cannot stay without human activity. Large areas appear to be perfect places for establishment of wind power stations. Despite the fact that their neighborhood should not be inhabited by people (who would suffer from constant noise of turbines), wind energy production does not keep farmers from their work. In this context, large spaces around stations are often used for plants’ cultivation or other agricultural activity. However, in order to place a wind turbine it is not necessary to occupy large territory; it can be constructed everywhere, even within water surface, which features one more ecological benefit (in addition to less effect on environment and limitless).

On the contrary, some contradictions still might be presented, speaking of ecology of wind energy.
First, construction of wind turbines can enhance climate change. In particular, their prime assignment, usage of air masses in motion, slightly reduces their speed, which leads to a decrease of the average wind speed. It makes local climate conditions more continental: air cools slowerin winter and air gets hot faster in summer. Such a conversion is possible for those areas, where concentration of wind turbines and plants is big – European continent, for example. 

Second, another consequence of wind speed decrease is less ventilation around big cities. As one could guess, most of them deal with industrial undertakings, which facilitate local pollution and contamination. Lower wind speed encourages standstill of harmful substances and wastes in atmosphere. Therefore, an establishment of wind energy stations is not recommended near urban areas.

Third, it was already mentioned that wind power plant produce much noise, which is why most of them change their perceived noise level during day/night period.

Fourth, there is always a possibility of killing bird species, which get in blades of windmill or turbine. Preventive measures and constructions are of big priority in this case. 

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