Most people who dismiss these types of renewable technologies do so not because they believe they aren’t important, but because they don’t understand the rate of advancement or even how they work. For example, a lot of people say that solar panels will never truly take over for coal and oil because the sun isn’t always out and there are cloudy days. That’s pure ignorance. Germany is one of the most overcast countries in Europe, but they rule the world when it comes to producing and storing solar energy.
That’s the word that makes all the difference: storing. And it’s why people don’t understand how easily we can harness the power of the wind, too. With the proper technology, we can use batteries to store both solar and wind energy for later use. Wind requires no water to utilize, and that puts it a step above most nonrenewable and renewable energy sources.
Believe it or not, wind would not exist without the sun, and so it is in essence solar energy. The sun heats our atmosphere. Coupled with the earth’s rotation, that atmosphere bends and churns and creates wind. But what are the benefits to advancing wind energy and using it more routinely? For one, and probably most importantly, it does not result in pollution. We can gather as much wind energy as we possibly can, and doing so will never hurt us.
Although wind can be unpredictable, the U.S. has plenty of it. We just haven’t invested significant resources in harnessing that power. Again, we should continue to research and invest in storing that energy for later use. First, though, we need to build more turbines!
One of the best parts of wind energy is that we don’t need a terribly large amount of infrastructure to grow our energy capabilities. Farms that already exist have more than enough space on which we can build new turbines, and the cost of doing so is relatively cheap compared with alternatives. Not only that, but we need those farms to remain profitable in order for us to keep growing a diverse set of foods. When the NYC government leases turbines on lands owned by farmers, both the farmers themselves and the towns in which they reside stand to profit in the long-term. This could push a number of people out of poverty.
No matter what you believe, it’s hard to argue against clean, sustainable energy with realistic facts–even if you don’t believe in climate change. What are we waiting for?