When I was reading about the growth of the wind energy industry, I wondered what the future of wind energy is. So, I did some research to get some more details about the overall outlook on wind.
What’s the future of wind energy? Wind is one of the fastest growing sources of natural energy and is on track to continue. Since it is a renewable resource that will never run out, the future possibilities for wind energy are endless.
Many people doubt the potential of wind energy as a primary source of electricity. However, it is actually much more sustainable than you might think.
Related: How Do Wind Turbines Affect Wildlife? (Environmental Frenemies)
Growth of The Wind Energy Industry
Wind has been used as a natural and renewable source of energy for thousands of years. It all started with the invention of windmills that gradually evolved into modern day wind turbines.
The world has shown a very scattered pattern of interest in using wind energy as a primary source of electricity, with trends going back and forth since the early 1970s.
Although the public has not always accepted the concept of wind energy, it has become increasingly popular in recent years and continues to grow and advance.
The wind energy industry has developed steadily over several decades. The acceptance of renewable energy began with the Public Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, which required all companies to use a certain amount of electricity from renewable resources including wind.
It was then that wind became recognized as a viable source of energy. Soon after this act was signed, wind energy continued to advance from there.
Since the beginning, wind turbines have been upgraded and improved consistently. They have become more slender in recent prototypes in comparison to the much larger, old fashioned machines that took up wide areas of space.
Modern day wind turbines can now be placed side by side in a field with a minimal distance between them with no risk of interference. These turbines have more kilowatt capacities and can also generate more electricity than previous models ever could.
The future looks bright for wind turbines, as plenty of new designs have surfaced to improve the aesthetics and efficiency more than ever.
Wind Energy’s Impression on the World
Although wind energy has not yet been adopted as the world’s primary source of electricity, there are many countries across the globe that have successfully made the switch to using less unnatural energy. In 2012, it was reported that 100 countries transitioned into using more wind energy and cutting down on damage to the environment.
This statistic quickly increased just 4 years later in 2016, when the number of countries using wind energy moved up to 200. Sweden has publicly set an ambitious goal to become the first ever one hundred percent renewable country by the year 2020, as well as Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
These calculations continue to grow, with several other countries behind them aiming to limit emissions of carbon and use the earth’s natural resources instead.
Aside from its positive impact on the environment, the wind energy industry has also proven to have financial benefits within the past several years. Many people have invested in existing wind farms or even put money into building their own.
Wind energy is not a bad investment, due to the 20 year life expectancy of wind turbines as well as the minimal amount of land that is required to operate a wind farm. The cost of the average wind turbine can be anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 including delivery and installation, but the return on investment is relatively quick.
The majority of wind turbine owners claim that the machines begin to pay for themselves after just one year. Additionally, multiple wind turbines are able to be placed within a close vicinity of each other. so owners are able to receive and maximize a steady flow of positive income for several years after their initial purchase.
The wind energy industry has also created a massive job market. In fact, it was named one of the most in demand jobs in the year 2016. It was reported that wind turbine technicians had an estimated job growth of 96 percent, and it is set to continue at that rate until the year 2026.
Due to the increase of wind turbines being built across the world, technicians are needed to deliver, install, and maintain them. With the increasing acceptance of wind energy as a sustainable resource, the job outlook for wind turbine technicians is extremely positive.
The Potential Achievements of Wind Energy
At the rate it has been growing in the past few years, the industry of wind energy is expected to achieve great things in the future. New technological advances for the design of wind turbines are boosting efficiency and allowing the most generation of energy as possible.
Energy from the wind can be used in the same way as traditional methods of electricity, with the ability to power schools, homes, and entire communities in some places.
Even better, it is a natural and renewable source of energy, meaning that it will never run out. When using wind energy, there is no need to worry about using up and depleting resources because the earth will provide wind indefinitely.
The fact that wind is natural also makes it extremely friendly to the environment. The use of wind energy will help to preserve nature and prevent future damage. Without toxic fumes being released into the air, wind energy can really make positive changes to the earth.
Wind is currently one of the most cost efficient forms of energy, which is appealing in more ways than one. Aside from the fact that electricity prices are significantly lowered, there is potential to bring power to less fortunate countries that are suffering from poverty.
Renewable energy sources including wind have been implemented in South Africa in recent years. Previously, there were increased amounts of coal emission from un-natural resources accounting for one of the highest averages worldwide.
New developments in the wind energy industry could offer the same kind of solution for many more countries across the globe.
How Wind Energy Will Continue To Grow Until 2027
The growth of wind energy has increased at a steady rate of approximately 4 percent each year, which translates to the amount of 65 gigawatts with one gigawatt being equal to one billion watts. Throughout the time frame beginning in 2018 and going forward to the year 2027, the global wind capacity is on track to double in value.
In conclusion, the concept of wind energy has been around for thousands of years, even though many people have failed to recognize it as a sustainable source of energy. Considering the current outlook on the future of wind, it looks like it won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
Are There any Limits to the Power of Wind Energy?
Although wind is one of the earth’s infinite natural resources that will never run out, there are a few limits to how much of it can really be taken at one time. Turbines take the wind’s kinetic energy as it passes through the blades, which causes a slower momentum going forward.
When too many wind turbines are placed in the way of each other, they can potentially block the airflow as the wind continues down its path. There are other physical limitations to how much energy turbines can possibly take from the wind.
In a theory called Betz’s law, it is indicated that the absolute maximum amount of power that can be extracted from the wind by a single turbine is only 59.3 percent. This rule applies even when the wind turbines are not obstructed in any way, and even then most of them are only able to reach up to 80 percent of this average.
Is There a Way to Better Conserve Wind Power?
There is a way to store excess energy from the wind for later use in case of an emergency. This process is known as compressed air energy storage, where the wind’s energy is pushed into a large above ground tank or underground cavern to undergo a series of heating functions before being converted into electricity and held for the future.
This is especially helpful when there is little to no wind for the turbines to take energy from and generate electricity. Since the wind is so unpredictable, compressed air energy storage assists with meeting demand when the resources are not immediately available.
How can the Growth of Wind Energy Improve the Environment in the Future?
The gradual replacement of power plants with wind energy will continue to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and help to prevent global warming.
In fact, wind energy has already made significant improvements to the environment even though it is currently only used in about 5 percent of the world. More frequent use of wind energy can potentially eliminate pollution and reverse the damage that has already been done to the earth.
If you’re serious about learning more about wind energy, I recommend the Wind Energy Handbook on Amazon. This book is great for both students and professionals, and it holds invaluable information on the subject of wind power.