Wind energy is infinite, clean, a friend of climate, and the future of our energy sector. That is the green gospel we hear from renewable-obsessed environmentalists and politicians every day.
If wind energy is what they claim it is, why are the economic powerhouses of the world increasingly turning toward fossil fuels and nuclear, not toward wind? If wind is affordable and efficient, as they claim, why does it need subsidies to flourish?
The answers to these questions reveal that wind energy is not what it is portrayed to be.
Intermittent Generation and Hyper-Sensitiveness to Weather
It is a well known fact that wind energy is intermittent — i.e., it can generate stable electricity only when the wind speed is at an optimum level. This is known as rated wind speed, which is around 26–30 miles per hour, or 12–14 meters per second. A little slower, and the generation is inefficient. A little faster, and turbines risk getting damaged.
Unfortunately, average wind speeds are not stable, so neither is the energy generated. Wind changes direction and speed minute by minute for various reasons. Furthermore, geographical regions have different wind-generating capabilities during different seasons. Some turbines remain non-operational for months when average wind speeds are lower than 10 miles per hour. read more