How reliable is Wind Power?

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There are many sources of power that you can use to provide electricity to your home, although this is often a choice made by the electricity utility company you choose to provide that power. Some of the most common sources of power include hydro- electric power, gas, coal, and of course, wind power. In this article we aim to clarify the myths surrounding the reliability of wind power.

What is wind power?
Wind power is power obtained from the wind, obviously. This is achieved by the use of turbines that are rotated by the wind thus generating mechanical power. By the aid of these turbines, the kinetic energy in the wind is converted into electrical form and is then ready to be used.

How reliable is Wind Power?
People question the reliability of wind power because the wind is not something you can control really. There are times when you might be in dire need of wind energy and not get it, and there are times when the wind can be too strong to harness appropriate amounts of energy. But is this the whole story about the reliability of wind power?

It actually is not because over time, wind has proven to be a reliable source of power. In fact, there are some counties in Europe and some states in the United States of America that owe a percentage of power they use to wind power. In the U.S for example, it is estimated that in a year, wind power contributes 48 billion Kilowatts per Hour of energy, which translates to providing energy to 4.5 million homes. This is no mean feat. But how is this energy made reliable?

Electricity utility companies that use wind power as one source of energy ensure that, in the eventuality that wind stops blowing, there are other sources of power that can automatically substitute the amount of power that the wind was supposed to produce. This is not however just unique to wind power. Even plants that use other sources of power can stop abruptly and at such a time, wind power maybe used as a substitute.

Also, wind power is as variable as the demand for power, which means that even when there is no wind power, there’s also a high likely hood that no one needs to use that power.

Additionally, there is really no need to store wind power because as was earlier said, in case there is no wind to produce power, there are backups that will produce that power. More importantly, storage of power is not that cheap although there is ongoing research to identify possible cost- effective ways of storing wind energy.

Conclusion
Compared to other sources of energy, wind does not fare too badly; it is in fact as good a source of energy as any. Sure, you cannot control when the wind will blow, but you could at least forecast when and how it will blow. In this case, you would at least be forewarned which is better than those unexpected plant shut downs that can cause great damage.

 

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