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Wind Power: An Alternative To Hydroelectricity Essay

670 words - 3 pages

The supply of fossil fuels is drastically depleting, and the consumption of energy causes multiple problems which include: global warming, pollution and geopolitical conflicts according to Dan Hogan, editor of sciencedaily.com. One respective alternative would be wind-power.
Wind-power can be used as both electrical power and mechanical power. Electrical power refers to fuel that has been converted to electricity. Mechanical power is fuel used as a primary, opposed to secondary, source – in regards to wind, anything it pushes around to activate would be using a Mechanical power. Wind is easily renewed because it is a source of natural occurrences; if the wind is still blowing you still have your source of energy. Hydroelectric power can also be considered easily renewable, but water is not unlimited. When comparing the cost of wind-power to that of hydroelectric power, wind-power is more affordable. Wind-power comes in at only $0.01/KWh, while Hydroelectric power is $0.03/KWh. Also, wind-power generates relatively no greenhouse gases, and is expected to leave no by-products while Hydroelectric plants produce high doses of Methane (“Hydroelectric Energy”, 1)
Wind-power also falls short to Hydroelectric power as well. The Energy and fuel for wind-power may be cheap, but the turbines are extremely expensive to build. The cost for a utility scale wind turbine in 2012 ranged from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MW of nameplate capacity installed, opposed to $3 million to complete an entire hydroelectric dam; keep in mind that you would need several MW to make just ONE turbine, and you would need more than one turbine to distribute enough energy around the world. Hydroelectricity is much more accessible than wind turbines. The energy created in a hydroelectric dam can be distributed a much farther distance than that of a wind turbine. (Knott, 2008). Costs for turbines can be reduced if high speed gears are replaced with sluggish, but dependable, boxes, which are only suitable for offshore...

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