Disadvantages of Wind Energy – Top 6

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A world where everything runs on non-renewables has no future. Unlike non-renewables, what we need is a source of energy that has positive effects on the earth’s climate rather than endangering it to its extension. One of them is the energy of the wind.

No wonder there are so many advantages of wind energy over non-renewable energy resources. But the matter of fact is that we could not ignore the number of disadvantages that come with the use of wind power.


Disadvantages of Wind Energy – Top 6

There are so many bad things about wind energy that you don’t wanna miss. These are the top 6 disadvantages of using wind power that I will be discussing with you today. Let’s dive right in…!!!

  • Wind Energy is Unreliable
  • Lowest Efficiency
  • Installation Cost
  • Location Restrictive
  • Threat to Wildlife
  • Noise Pollution


Wind Energy is Unreliable

One of the biggest disadvantages of using wind energy is its reliability. In terms of reliability, all the non-renewable resources are highly reliable as compared to the renewable ones. Out of all the renewables, geothermal is highly reliable. Wind energy, on the other hand, is the least reliable one.

The generation of electricity is directly proportional to the availability of wind. On the other hand, as far as wind is concerned, you can’t predict it. The consistent speed of the wind plays a very important role in the generation of electricity. In other words, energy can only be produced if the wind blows at a certain required speed range.

For example, if the speed of the wind is too low, you can’t generate electricity using wind turbines. If the speed of the wind is too high, there is a high chance of damaging the blades of the turbine. Hence, cannot generate electricity.


Lowest Efficiency

The next drawback of using wind energy is its efficiency. Although the gap between the efficiency of the wind turbines and the other energy resources has been narrowed down in 2022. Yet, it is still one of the lowest among all the other sources of electricity generation.

As per the available data, most of the conventional wind turbine’s efficiency rating is somewhere between 30% to 40%. In addition, if we consider the reliability of wind power too, efficiency could drastically reduce to 20 to 25% during the slowest speed of the wind.

The efficiency of wind turbines, on the other hand, could increase up to 50% during wind peak times. Just to let you know that the efficiency of hydropower plants is always more than 90% which is the highest among all the renewables.


Installation Cost

The next one in my list of top 6 disadvantages of wind power is its installation cost. To install a complete wind farm, what you need is tens of thousands of dollars. This includes buying hundreds of wind turbines, inverters, batteries, permit, paying off wind turbine installers, transportation costs, etc.

No wonder with the modern technological advancements, the cost of wind turbines is decreasing gradually. However, they are still very expensive to buy and erect as compared to the other sources of electricity generation.

Not to mention, governments around the globe are nowadays highly incentivizing wind power plants to promote renewable energy. These tax rebates and incentives are making wind power more affordable.


Location Restrictive

One of the most significant problems with wind farms is that it is location restrictive. You can’t simply build a wind farm anywhere you want to especially in urban or crowded areas. To build a wind farm, you need an area where there is no obstacle to the flow of the wind.

This is why most of the biggest wind farms are located in remote areas where nothing can hinder the flow of the wind for a longer distance. Apart from the remote areas, the other places where wind farms with bigger turbines can be easily installed are coastal areas or high altitude areas such as the top of the hills, etc.


Threat to Wildlife

Nothing is perfect. So does the energy of the wind. No one can deny the fact that by switching to wind energy over non-renewables, one can significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, one can also not deny the fact that setting up a wind farm can drastically affect the life cycle of birds especially bats and other flying creatures. As per the available data, more than 500,000 flying creatures are dying each year due to taking a direct hit from the rotating blades of a wind turbine.

As a result, more and more people are becoming vocal about this persisting issue, especially by wildlife conservation groups. This is also regarded as one of the biggest reasons that people are still being reluctant to switch to wind power.


Noise Pollution

Last but not least one in my list of top 6 disadvantages of using wind energy farms is that it creates an enormous amount of noise pollution while generating electricity. The closer you reside to a wind power plant, the more amount of sounds like “humm”, or “woosh” you will have to bear.

Well, thanks to the next-generation wind turbines, the sound of “humm” or “woosh” has been drastically reduced. However, people who are living nearer to the wind farm which is still using the older models of turbines have to adjust to that sound.

In other words, there is no alternative to that issue. With time, they will simply get used to it, in a similar way a family residing nearer to the national highway where they have to consistently listen to the sound of a motor vehicle 24/7 all year round.

Well, in my personal opinion, if I am given a chance to choose between noise and environmental pollution, I would happily choose noise pollution. What will you choose? Let me know in the comment section.


Some other Disadvantages of Wind Energy:

Apart from the above-mentioned disadvantages or cons of wind energy, I am also mentioning some of a few here.

  • Wind turbines create aesthetic and look issues
  • Older turbine requires a higher maintenance
  • Very hard to get a permit for building even a small wind farm near urban areas
  • Requires larger installation area.
  • Once installed, hard to relocate, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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