If you’ve taken a road trip across the United States in recent years, or if you live near one of the communities where wind farms have taken up residence, you will have noticed the proliferation of wind turbines, sometimes stretching as far as the eye can see and containing countless individual units on acres and acres of ground. If you’re always on the lookout for the best way to save money on energy while being kind to the environment, you might have wondered what wind power is doing and whether it would be a way for your business to save on energy. Here are some of the basics about wind power and how it can affect you.
Wind power is a great source of renewable energy
Along with solar and hydroelectric power, wind power is an energy source that doesn’t rely on finite fossil fuels. Wind turbines harvest power from the spinning movement that is caused by wind. Since the wind blows for free, the only investment required is an efficient and cost-effective wind turbine, and the technology for the turbines has been steadily advancing to make wind power more and more viable.
Wind power only accounts for a small fraction of the US power supply
In 2016, all the renewable energy sources put together created only 12 percent of the total power supply in the United States, and according to the US Energy Information Administration, wind turbines were the source of nearly six percent of the total. However, wind farms are growing fast, and the amount of power generated by wind is increasing. In the year 2000, wind farms generated about 6 billion kilowatthours (kWh), while in 2016, they generated about 226 billion kWh.
Wind is the cheapest source of renewable energy
So far, there are an estimated two hundred thousand wind turbines installed around the world, which is enough to generate electricity for about one hundred million homes. According to McKinsey & Co. analyst Scott Nyquist, wind energy is the cheapest form of renewable energy. However, it is also a type of energy that depends on the wind, so harvesting electricity from wind can be unpredictable, leading to an inconsistent power supply. For this reason, utility companies use wind alongside other, more consistent power generation methods to ensure the continuous supply of electricity to their clients. The wind turbines that receive the most consistent wind supply and produce the most continuous power are the ones on offshore wind farms. However, these offshore turbines are also the most difficult and costly to repair and maintain, making the onshore turbines still an attractive option.
What does all this mean to you?
As costs of generating wind power continuing to fall, wind turbines are here to stay. The fact that these technologies supply power to the grid can mean that the utilities companies have excess power to share, by selling it at wholesale prices. Our energy consultants can help you to choose the right retail energy provider and ensure that your business is acquiring electricity at the lowest price. With the worldwide supply of wind power growing, the electricity that these turbines harvest is here to stay. Schedule your appointment with an energy consultant today.