Although wind turbines have become familiar in much of the U. The advantages and disadvantages of wind energy are detailed here to help you decide what the future of wind should be in the United States. Wind energy can diversify the economies of rural communities, adding to the tax base and providing new types of income. Wind turbines can add a new source of property taxes in rural areas that otherwise have a hard time attracting new industry.
There are cases that are difficult to allocate to a particular one of the above classes. Methods are listed alphabetically within each group. This page uses several technical units. Energy units, definitions and conversions are available on an additional page.
Some notes Paradigm change in energy generation In as I write this a paradigm shift in how electricity is generated and distributed is beginning. In the past it has been generated mainly at large, centralised, power stations with the timing of the generation controlled by the people in charge.
With the development of economically competitive wind and solar power the timing of generation is now partly dependent on when the wind is blowing or the sun shining.
In the case of rooftop solar PV power, generated at the point of consumption, the distribution grid becomes, to some extent, redundant. The power grid, for people and businesses with solar power, becomes almost a battery to fall back on as needed. As wind and solar power make up a steadily increasing proportion of the electricity generation mix, power storage will become increasingly valuable and needed.
In it is very difficult to predict how this may play out, but one thing seems certain; we will see major changes in the next few decades, even in the next few years.
Greenhouse gasses An advantage of almost any method of power production that does not consume fossil fuels is that it need not result in a net addition of the important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Natural gas including shale gas and coal seam gas is largely methane, which is, volume for volume, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
When burned methane produces carbon dioxide and steam. An unknown amount of methane is lost into the atmosphere during fracking, extraction, transport and distribution.
No level playing field Economists, politicians and supporters of fossil fuels often make statements such as "Sustainable methods of power generation cannot yet compete financially on a level playing field with fossil fuel fired power stations".
In practice there is no level playing field! Fossil fuel electricity has only been cheaper than the more economically viable of the environmentally friendly options for example wind and solar power because the fossil fuel power station operators are allowed to dump their waste carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, toxic metals and particulate matter into the atmosphere at no cost to themselves.
This same waste is the main cause of man-made climate change and ocean acidificationand of millions of illnesses and deaths each year from air pollution.
Nuclear powered electricity would be much cheaper if the power station operators were allowed to dump their radioactive wastes in the sea. The petrochemical industry would make bigger profits if it could dump its wastes in the most convenient place.
If fossil fuel electricity generators were made to dispose of their carbon dioxide responsibly, their costs would increase enormously. No one has yet demonstrated that geosequestration of carbon dioxide from an operating coal-fired power station is viable at any price, and at best, geosequestration is more a land-fill style of disposal than it is an environmentally friendly method.Nuclear power is generated inside a plant called a reactor.
The power source is the heat produced by a controlled nuclear fission chain reaction, either of uranium or plutonium. Nuclear power is generated using Uranium, which is a metal mined in various parts of the world.
The first large-scale nuclear power station opened at Calder Hall in Cumbria, England, in Below you will find a nuclear energy pros and cons list, which covers the most important aspects of typical nuclear power plants.
There are commercial nuclear power plants in the United States producing a whopping TWh of electricity, in other words about 20 % of the entire electricity generation ().
With nuclear power plants, CO2 emissions are minimal, though uranium mining, construction of reactors, transportation of fuel and other parts of nuclear energy do generate greenhouse gases [source: Lenzen].
List of Cons of Nuclear Power Plants. 1. They have high start-up costs Nuclear power plants may be relatively cheaper to operate than other options, but getting them up and running is a different thing.
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy What are the pros and cons of nuclear energy, our third largest source of power? Nuclear power plants produce 20% of all electricity used in the US, more than all renewable energy combined (including solar, wind and even hydropower), taking third place behind natural gas and coal (each of which accounts for about 30% of total electricity production).