Wind Energy: Not as Green as You Might Think

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[sam_ad id=”80″ codes=”true”]Like kids fighting over candy, environmentalist, business people and consumers fight over whose “greener” than another. It’s almost as if you start that little taunt that kids use.

I’m green and you’re not, na-na-na-na-na-na.

You can just hear it, even though most professionals won’t actually go out and say it. Truth is, the battle to see which is the best environmental choice for Ontario’s power supply is getting nasty.


The Crisis

[sam_ad id=”80″ codes=”true”]Recently, Canada’s nuclear industry is in an uproar. Fed up with the “green energy” title this sector has, considers this title undeserved. In fact, the nuclear industry has started a public relations assault against wind energy giants.

You see, in Southwestern Ontario both nuclear and wind are major energy players. But according to the nuclear sector professionals, wind power just isn’t as green as they claim. First of all, it’s not very reliable and it needs support from gas, which emits green house gas which is made even worse by the wind, a characteristic that is worse than nuclear power. So much were the doubts with regards to wind energy, that the Canadian Nuclear Association hired Hatch LTD, an engineering firm to compare both wind and nuclear energy.


The Research

[sam_ad id=”80″ codes=”true”]This renown research company reviewed several studies and finally came to the conclusion that wind energy only produces slightly less greenhouse gas than nuclear; however both create less negative implications on the environment over gas-fired generating plants.

​Still in the study Hatch did note that there are different results when you consider the reliance on other generating sources. Wind turbines only generate about 20% of their capacity, which results from down time caused by no wind blowing.

Here lies the crux to the problem: it’s at this moment that gas-fired generating stations are used to pick up the slack. Now when the results are compared to that of nuclear energy, it is nuclear that produces substantially fewer gases.

In fact, Hatch concludes that for every kilowatt-hour of electricity, nuclear power only emits 18.5 grams of greenhouse gases whereas wind energy that is supported by natural gas burning produces as much as twenty times more, a significant quantity when considering one of these greener options for Toronto’s use.

The nuclear industry’s attack may not sound or seem right for the Ontario environmentally friendly government, but its position resonates with residents. Most experts agree, despite governements desire to make a multi-billion dollar investment, that wind power cant keep the environmental benefits need, because it uses fossil fuel backups.


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The Solution

Other environmentalist suggest that pairing wind with other alternative electricity suppliers could be the solution. For example, using hydroelectric power and other emerging renewable sources like solar could work.

1 thought on “Wind Energy: Not as Green as You Might Think”

  1. This article is simply not true for the majority of modern power generating windturbines. Ofcouse, if you place the windturbines without using you head, where there is not wind, it might be true. But in Denmark most of our new turbines are at sea and they are utilised to a much greater extend, above 70%. One brand new 8 MW turbine from Vestas just produced 192000 kWh in 24 hours, running full load all the time. Enough to power app 10.000 homes (from a single turbine!). This is a new record. So wind power, which are also constantly getting cheaper, are as green as you get it. We assume to be competitive with both oil, gas, coal and nuclear within the next 3 to 5 years.


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