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William Farquharson
Seana Phillips
Brie Warner
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Wind Energy

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Through researched facts and real life examples, wind energy is the most viable
renewable resource. When it comes to the different energy sources for day-to-day life
progression, wind energy is the most sustainable and efficient option that benefits the
public in an environmental, social, and economical aspect. In order to prove these
researched claims, we used a plethora of articles to gather information that further
support our statement. Through our research we discovered that wind energy is quite
substantial environmentally. An average wind turbines net benefit produces
approximately 19 years of clean, renewable energy after 5-8 months of operation. Wind
energy is the future to sustainable energy due to its zero toxic pollution and GWE during
wind turbine operations. While wind turbines benefit environmentally, they too have a
positive social contribution to our society. Wind energy has been proven to create
numerous amounts of job opportunities such as: technicians, surveyors, engineers and
many more. From an economic standpoint, the cost of wind energy has decreased by 90%
over the years and is among the most cost effective alternative energy resources. This
decrease will continue with upcoming innovations and technology over future years.
Backed by our research we highly recommend technological advancements conversions
toward wind energy to achieve a more sustainable future.
It is apparent that we as a nation have become dependent on traditional fuels as a
primary source of energy. Our nations dependency subjects us to vulnerabilities due to
unstable suppliers and possible foreign power attacks on the United States. This path
dependency is out dated, unreliable, and must be approached with a progressive future

plan toward sustainability. Our plan is to implement wind farms to harness wind energy
which will alleviate our path dependencies. This natural occurring energy will always be
feasible and must be utilized to its full potential to reduce environmental, social, and
economic impacts.
Harnessing power from the wind is one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways
to generate electricity due to its zero green house gas emissions during operation. Wind
energy only contributes to environmental impacts through production and
manufacturing. Production and manufacturing contributes to GWE by 0.02 to 0.04
lb. carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. The production of turbines uses a small about of
water and has very few impacts. The only impact on water could be due to lubricating
chemical seepage used to maintain turbine performance. Similar to water, wind turbines
have little environmental impacts on land. Less than one acre per megawatt
is permanently disturbed and less than 3.5 acres per megawatt are temporarily disturbed.
Land disturbance can be reduces when turbines are mounted on hilly surfaces compared
to flat surfaces due to the spacial requirements of 5 to 10 rotor diameters apart. Wind
turbines can utilize unused land, brownfield, and allows the remainder of land
unoccupied by turbines to be used for livestock, roadways etc. On the other hand, wind
turbines can be hazards to wildlife more specifically to birds and bats. Due to vibrations
and low air pressure bats and birds collide with rotors when wind speeds are low. To
reduce fatality, wind turbines will be motionless in times of low wind. Unlike onshore
wind turbines, offshore structures would serve as artificial reef for marine
life ultimately increase the fish population [Ledec]. Offshore turbines require a greater

amount of space and may cause a disturbance of ocean life and activity. To
reduce disturbances in the environment, helium inflatable wind turbines have been
produced. These innovative turbines produce 2-3 times the amount of power companied
to traditional mounted wind turbines [Offshore Wind Turbines]. Inflatable turbines
reach higher altitudes allowing this technology to hunt for high wind spends that are
constant compared to lower elevations and even solar energy that is intermittent. To
contribute to the immense power benefits, inflatables allow remote locations
to harness renewable energy allowing them to reduce their dependency on outside energy
sources such as oil. Inflatable turbines can be condensed into two shipping containers and
require no heavy machinery to assemble which takes approximately one day to complete
[Markham]. All of these factors combined contribute to the reduction of wind energys
life cycle analysis.
Reductions in traditional fuel dependency and LCA impact directly correlate with
social aspects regarding this renewable energy. Wind turbines provide our nation with a
clean, alternative source of energy that contributes to the populations overall wellbeing.
Wind energy will promote the public to become educated and ultimately support these
advancements in sustainable energy alternatives. This gained support will allow further
wind energy advances and make social impacts minute. A new, green way of thinking
will become the norm allowing the public to look past potential disturbances correlated
with wind farm operations. These impacts such as; noise, air traffic interference, property
value decrease and eye sores can be mitigated by proper planning and construction.

From an economic stand point, the publics support for clean, renewable wind energy will
promote government funding. As this technology grows the cost effectiveness is directly
parallel. Since the 1980s the cost of wind energy has declined by 90% allowing this cost
reduction trend to conclude at 4 cents per kilowatt hour in 2012 which is 50% lower than
year 2009. These low cost keep wind energy competitive with conventional energy and
are nearly composite with natural gas costs. The cost of wind energy is mostly a function
of how fast the wind blows, how often, and the time duration. High-speed winds are easy
and inexpensive for wind turbines to capture producing an abundant source of power.
This is represented by average capacity which is the percentage of power a turbine
produces compared to a continuos spinning turbine. To achieve a more precise
measurement of power, specific yield is calculated by the annual energy output per
square meter of area swept by rotating turbine blades. Wind turbines capture between
20% and 40% of the winds energy contributing to a sustainable energy path [Cost of
Wind Energy].
Wind energy is the future of sustainable energy due to its zero toxic pollution and
GWE during wind turbine operations. Advancements and innovations will contribute to
the reduction of LCA impacts on the nations environment. Wind energy will promote a
more sustainable way of thinking that will soon turn into the social norm of being. The
overall health of our planet and personal health as a nation will easily outweigh any
potential social disturbance wind turbines could cause. With the publics support, funding
toward wind energy innovations and implementation will increase. This increase will
allow cost to continue to decrease in future years making wind energy even more

attractive. This progressive movement will divert the nations energy path dependency
toward clean and renewable wind energy.

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Works Cited
How do Wind Turbines Work? Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable
Energy. U.S. Department of Energy. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
Ledec, George. Environmental & Social Impacts of Wind Power. NP. ND. Web.
17 Oct. 2014.
Markham, Derek. Inflatable Wind Turbine. Treehugger. MNN Holdings
Company, LLC. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
Offshore Wind Turbines. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable
Energy. U.S. Department of Energy. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
The Cost of Wind Energy in the U.S. AWEA. AWEA. 2014. Web. 17 Oct.
2014.