The wind market in numerous countries has experienced a remarkably fast growth of capacity in the last couple of years, and this speedy growth is expected to continue, but there is a downside to wind farms not previously known. In this article new wind turbine disadvantages are revealed.
Governments in lots of countries are willing to subsidize the modern technology which is viewed as a low risk technology when contrasted to lots of other newer sustainable/renewable energy technologies, and yet the wind turbine as a renewable energy source, already holds many drawbacks when compared with other technologies for producing renewable energy such as anaerobic digestion plants.
In the UK a great deal of onshore and offshore wind turbine projects are now moving into the construction phase, with an extraordinary number of onshore wind farms having actually obtained planning consent over the last 12 months.
Other nations are likely to be in a similar position within the existing wind turbine innovation and investment bubble. With all this current activity the casual viewer would, we think it is reasonable to state, expect that the sustainability argument for wind turbines would have been well investigated, with all facets well studied.
Financial investment on this scale should definitely not be pumped into a modern technology which will in future years be discovered to have hidden disadvantages, and not be as green as was expected – but is this exactly what is happening due to these wind turbine disadvantages ?
The automatic presumption that wind turbine modern technology is green, has just possibly been altered, and may now become a concern due to the findings from research which is reported in the July 2012 edition of the “Nature – Climate Change Journal”, by the authors Liming Zhou, Yuhong Tian, Somnath Baidya Roy, Chris Thorncroft, Lance F. Bosart and Yuanlong Hu. These specialists mention that while converting the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical power, wind turbines additionally bring about surface to atmosphere energy exchanges and the transfer of momentum, mass and dampness within the environment.
They postulate that these changes, if they exist over a large aera and a sufficient number of turbine locations, could have possibly significant effects on regional to local climate and elevate the temperature, and they continue in their paper to provide observational proof for such influences based on the analysis of satellite data for the period of 2003-2011 over a spread of turbine sites in west-central Texas. They have picked their study area well, as this is where 4 of the globe’s biggest wind farms are located. And, they state that their outcomes reveal a considerable warming trend of up to 0.72 Centigrade per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to nearby non-wind-farm areas. This is a new wind turbine disadvantage.
They go on to credit this warming largely to wind farms as its spatial pattern and magnitude correlates extremely well with the geographic circulation of the wind turbines studied.
So, this could be a big disadvantage of wind farms. The specialists go on to say that their research is not definite and the data made use of only crudely represents the effects of wind turbines at this early phase of research. Nonetheless, 0.72 C per years seems like a large rise to us, and large enough to raise a really significant question in our minds over the sustainability of wind farms for the neighborhood environment, and regionally elevated temperature results might also exist.
Wind Turbine Disadvantages are Potentially Significant?
This can be considered as a big disadvantage of wind farm promoters. In our view, and in agreement with the writers of this study, we think that this research must wake- up researchers and turbine project promoters to this worry, which is an important problem that needs additional examination. To use the words of the authors of this paper; “We should much better comprehend the system with observations and better model the complex interactions involved to predict exactly how wind farms might affect future climate and environment.”
Beyond that, we have a question as well. Should not this type of fundamental research (to explore this drawback of wind farms), have been finished by modelling previously, it will soon be too late to avoid wasted money due to this wind turbine disadvantages, after such a large investment goes into the technology?