The ecological aspect
Wind energy is classified as renewable energy, since it is a consequence of the activity of the Sun. Wind power is a booming industry. Large wind farms are connected to the general grid, while smaller ones are used to supply electricity to remote areas. Unlike fossil fuels, wind power is virtually inexhaustible, widely available and more environmentally friendly. However, the construction of wind farms is fraught with some technical and economic difficulties that slow down the spread of wind energy. A wind farm generates electricity using special generators in the form of wind turbines that run on such energy. It is this kind of energy that is classified as ecological because the fuel obtained in the combustion process is not used.
A farm contains a generator in which the energy generated by the rotation of the rotor is converted into electrical power. The rotor rotates with a screw or turbine. The fact is: the larger the generator – the more wind power it will convert into electricity. The generator must be sized to match the propeller or turbine. If it is too large, it will prevent launch in low winds.
Vertical-axis farms are less popular. The generator itself is located under the mast, and most importantly, there is no need for orientation to the wind. Vertical-axis farms require higher speeds and pre-start from an external power source for stable operation. Due to the increasing demand for experts in energetics, a lot of students all over the world are studying this difficult area. There are not many professionals who are ready to share their knowledge in the field of energy, but for example, there is a company that provides a ‘write paper for me’ service and has the widest base of specialists. Besides, there are essay services that can help students, interpreters and professors to get more information about specific topics in the field of energetics.
Wind power is renewable and free. Such turbines do not emit CO2 or other harmful substances. The wind is an ideal and endless source of energy. The construction of more of them leads to a reduction in the occurrence of power plants that emit harmful substances into the atmosphere.
The use of such energy promotes a variety of power sources and minimizes dependence on conventional power plants or other types of energy production.
The creation of new ones leads to technological development, technical innovation and the creation of new jobs.
The cost of generating energy from wind has dropped significantly in recent years. Over the past twenty years, the cost has dropped by as much as 80%, making this type of energy currently the most profitable of all types of power plants.
The owner of the site on which the constructions are located can expect to profit from the lease of this land since the actual area required for the power plant is small. In addition, the land on which the power plant is located can be used in agriculture (for growing various crops) since the stations do not have harmful emissions.
The service life of such a power plant is on average 20-30 years, and after its dismantling, no traces remain – neither in the landscape nor in the atmosphere.
The process of operating the farms is quite simple, the assembly time is very short, and the operating and maintenance costs are also quite low. The power plant produces 85 times more energy than it consumes. It also has relatively small losses in energy transport.
Setting up a farm enjoys public acceptance. The vast majority of people understand and support the benefits of using this type of energy.
Wind farms entail high investment costs. However, at present, the prices for the construction of farms are constantly falling due to new advances in technology.
The strength of energy is not constant, it causes fluctuations in power production. The wind is not always predictable, it may not even be there for several days. This means that turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity over time. Sometimes this leads to a complete lack of electricity.
Farms adversely affect the environment and living organisms. They have powerful moving elements that can kill birds and bats. This is especially dangerous during periods of bird migration. However, this rarely happens, and there is also a rule that says that farms cannot be built on migration routes.
Wind farms can generate noise. They are sources of constant low-frequency noise. These low-frequency turbine noises (about 40 dB) and inaudible infrasound can cause fatigue in humans.
Some farms with large blade diameters and high rotational speeds can cause radar interference as well as interfere with the television signal.
Farms have a negative impact on the health of people living near them. As a result of their influence, a person may experience the so-called turbine syndrome (problems with sleep, concentration, headaches and dizziness), therefore it is recommended to place farms at a distance of at least 2.5 – 3 km from residential buildings;
One of the most suitable locations for farms is near the coast. But land near the coast, as you know, is usually very expensive.
Farms generate electricity about 30% of the time and must be supported by power plants that run on coal, for example, which in turn generate harmful emissions.
Reducing the value of land and real estate. Studies have shown that the value of real estate located within a 1.6 km radius of farms can significantly decrease;
The costs associated with land reclamation and the elimination of the foundations of turbines after the end of the station operation.
The construction of the stations affects the reduction in the number of jobs; only one person is required to maintain a dozen windmills.
In many parts of our planet, in the coastal zone of continents and islands, constant strong winds are blowing, whose energy can be used by mankind to produce highly profitable, environmentally friendly electricity. Such farms built in the shallow zone of the seas are called offshore, as well as coastal, sea, shelf or water (surface). This is one of the most promising areas of renewable energy, in particular one, in which billions of dollars in investments are already being made. Energy production from offshore power sources increased fivefold in 2010-2015. This segment is developing especially intensively in Europe, in countries with extensive access to the sea such as Great Britain (where, according to estimates, up to 30% of all wind resources in the EU are concentrated), Denmark, Belgium, Germany. Wind equipment manufacturers Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas compete most closely here. As of the end of the 2010s, the installed capacity of offshore farms in Europe is around 15 GW, and the global potential is over 100 GW by 2030. Of this number, floating offshore will account for 10% of the market. The cost of generating power from offshore will decrease by 77% by 2040, according to the BNEF report.
Europe is the world leader in offshore energy: the first offshore farm (Vindeby) was installed in Denmark in 1991. A comprehensive review of the technical aspects of the turbines, such as the dimensions used onshore, including electrical connections and converters in 2013, showed that the industry as a whole was overly optimistic about the cost-benefit ratio, and concluded that “the offshore market is not matched” it doesn’t look like it will be big. Outside of Europe, the Chinese government has set ambitious targets of 5 GW of installed coastal wind capacity by 2015 and 30 GW by 2020, surpassing that of other countries. By 2017, the installed capacity of offshore power worldwide was 20 GW. In 2018, offshore power provided only 0.3% of the world’s electricity supply. However, in 2018 alone, an additional 4.3 GW of offshore power was deployed globally. In Denmark, 50% of electricity was generated in 2018 from wind power, of which 15% was offshore.
The most common type of wind power plant today. Places on hills and heights are looked for to install a generator. In order to install an industrial generator, a prepared site is required. You also need to get permission from the regulatory authorities. For construction, expensive to the construction site, heavy lifting equipment with a boom extension of more than 50 meters is required, since the gondolas are installed at a height of about 50 meters. All generators of the power plant are connected by cable and form a single system.
The life cycle of a farm includes planning, engineering design, construction, operation, expansion, upgrades and facility closings. Each of these processes requires the participation of professionals and the use of the most advanced technologies in order for the project to meet expectations. Today, building an onshore farm takes an average of 5 to 8 years, depending on the site chosen, the size of the project, and many other factors. A new energy project starts with careful planning and evaluation of the selected site for the facility to be located. Experts conduct detailed studies, assess orographic conditions, wind strength and direction, seismic exertion and other aspects. Much attention is paid to forecasting the environmental and socio-economic consequences of future construction for the region. The research results will be a condition for obtaining permits and negotiating with regulatory authorities. An administrative building permit requires coordination of various aspects of the project with the authorities responsible for the environment and natural resources protection, the health of local residents, traffic, generation and distribution of electricity. Signing for the supply of electricity and connection to the national power grid is a very important stage. This task requires multi-stage negotiations and agreements to carry out many capital-intensive works in the shortest possible time. Some components, such as transformers and turbines, take a long time to manufacture (up to 6-8 months), so it is important to start the process as soon as possible. For this, production is controlled, and the corresponding tests are necessarily carried out at the selected plant under the supervision of experts.
The construction of an onshore farm typically involves 5 stages:
- Construction of access roads for equipment transportation.
- Arrangement of construction sites and storage facilities for building materials.
- Construction of foundations for turbines.
- Cable laying and the other electrical work on the point.
- Assembly and installation of turbines on foundations.
A prerequisite for the successful perpetuation of a wind power design is the conduct of comprehensive exploration, planning and collaboration of the construction of a wind ranch with original authorities.
In 2019, explosive growth in the commissioning of new onshore farms is expected by 32% to 60 GW. Electricity generation from onshore farms will double in 2017-2021. The average cost of electricity generated by new onshore will decline by 58% in 2018-2050. The cost of generating from onshore will decrease by 47% by 2040, according to the BNEF report.
Wind power can, in a relatively short time, significantly reduce the dependence of the world economy on oil, gas, uranium and other types of fossil fuels, in addition to significantly reducing emissions of gases into the atmosphere, which have a detrimental effect on the planet’s climate. Such farms can be built both on land (onshore), and at shallow depths in the shelf zone of the seas (coastal or offshore), where strong enough winds often blow. Companies around the world are investing $ 4.2 trillion in such energy by 2050. The price of this type of energy will drop by more than 40% by 2030, making this type of energy one of the cheapest.