Everything that has pros, should have cons as well. Alternative energy is not an exception. It has a lot of pluses and minuses that encourage its development or slow it down. We should take into account not only natural or cost factors, but also the political one, which should be underlined at the end of the article. And now let’s take a few most common types of alternative energy that are used these days and look through their advantages and disadvantages.
First of all, it is ecologically friendly type of energy. Wind farms do not produce any emissions at all. Wind only rotate wind turbine, which, in fact, gives us energy. From the point of view of ergonomics, wind farms do not require much place and fit into different landscapes. Moreover, they are very good to mix with other types of industry or economic usage of a territory. Wind energy is inexhaustible and is probably the best solution for remote areas. This is the cheapest and most suitable for such territories.
But wind energy has also some minuses. Flow or speed of wind keeps changing and does not guarantee that a wind farm produces the required amount of energy. Some land areas do not have enough wind power to produce some amount of energy. Conditionally low power outcome: wind generators are not as efficient as diesel generators. That is why it is advised to install several turbines at once. In addition, wind turbines are not effective at peak load. The cost of a plant, which produces 1 giga-watt of electricity, is about 1 million US dollars. Wind farms are also potentially dangerous for living organisms. Statistics show that about 4 birds die, because of colliding with wind turbine blades. Noise, which is produced by wind farms, can be problematic for people and animals. So, some wind farms are even switched off during night time.
Solar energy also has its pros and cons, so let’s look through some of them. So, we may say that the main advantages of solar energy are: it is a renewable source of energy, it doesn’t produce bad emission and it is eco-friendly.
Solar energy stations require large areas, because there are theoretical limitations of photovoltaic elements of the first and second generations. For instance, solar power station that produces 1 giga-watt of electricity requires a few dozens of square kilometers of area. Such stations may change microclimate of the area, where they are located. The stations can’t work at night and the main electricity consumption takes place at nighttime.
These were some main pros and cons of alternative energy. Another thing is that these sources of energy are not advantageous and profitable for all individuals and counties. These are many countries, which have oil and gas in abundance. There are others that havehuge resources of coal and natural gas. So, these countries do not invest a lot or even any funds for the development of alternative sources of energy, because it is not profitable for them.