Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Wind energy does have a few disadvantages compared to other sources of renewable energy and fossil fuels.  One big disadvantage of wind energy is that no matter how great the technology becomes, a wind turbine will never be able to be more than 59.3% efficient according Betz’s Law.  Betz’s law states that the wind which passes through the blades of a wind turbine can never be captured to more than a 59.3% efficiency because of the physical laws of moving parcels of air.

Another disadvantage of wind energy is that in order to provide sufficient energy to something that requires a large amount of electricity, a lot of land space is needed to construct wind turbines.  No, wind turbines do not use a lot of space on the actual ground, which leaves room for farm grazing animals, but a wind farm with many large turbines leaves very little space for building into the air.  Also, wind turbines need a clean laminar flow of wind to operate efficiently, so building near wind turbines will only make the turbines less efficient.

Another huge disadvantage of wind energy is that wind flow can be very unpredictable and without consistent wind flow, a wind turbine generator is useless.

Negative Impacts on the Environment:

  1. Wind turbine blades can be extremely hazardous to birds, especially turbines that are built near migratory flight pattern areas.
  2. Wind turbines are very susceptible to damage from lightning because of their tall and metallic form, which, in very few cases can be dangerous for nearby animals or people.
  3. Wind turbines also generate noise, and when they are built close to homes, may be a disturbance to people.
  4. Wind turbines create a shadow flicker, which can be disturbing to nearby residents.

Breaking the Myths of the Negative Environmental Impact of Wind Turbines:

  1. Yes, wind turbines can be dangerous for birds but they actually kill significantly less birds per year than glass window panes.  Wind turbines today are much more technologically advanced and are actually able to spin more slowly at certain wind speeds and still produce ample electrical output.
  2. With the advances in technology, wind turbines today make noise that is similar to the level of “white noise” that one would hear in their own home from their electrical or gas appliances.