Until recently, there is no question that technologies such as wind turbines were less efficient than using fossil fuel. Why are we investing so much in renewable in terms of tax breaks and legislation for wind energy development? The reason is simple; it’s a significant and profitable investment in the future which reduces the U.S. dependence on imported energy.
However, to be genuinely equitable with renewable energy farms in our communities, it may be time to consider two things: 1) Change how lease payments are made on land hosting wind turbines to profit the community as a whole. 2) Examine the current policies to ensure ongoing investment is made and incremental growth can continue. Moratoriums are a stop-gap, not a long-term solution.
Here are some positive aspects of investing in renewable energy projects and personally investing in renewable energy stocks.
#1 The wind is a Pollution-free source of energy
Overall, using wind to produce energy has fewer effects on the environment than many other energy sources. This is because the power source, wind, does not release harmful emissions that pollute the air or water.
As technology develops and investment in wind turbines is made, it will lower emissions for electricity generation. Fossil fuel power plants that burn coal are being dismantled in some regions of the country that use wind generation.
Demolition of the Harbor Beach Michigan Coal Power Plant
#2 Wind and Solar Energy is Space Efficient
Wind turbines can operate in the community. Typically in open spaces such as farms and prairie lands. However, the area under and near the turbines can still grow crops and graze cattle.
Land that is taken is the pad area under the turbine and service access road easement. Power cables carrying the generated electricity are typically buried. This means that each turbine is efficient on a per kilowatt basis and can power thousands of homes and businesses.
Land availability does not constrain solar deployment. A report by the Department of Energy in 2021 estimated that by 2050, ground-based solar technologies will require a maximum land area equivalent to 0.5% of the contiguous U.S. surface area. This requirement could be met in numerous ways, including the use of disturbed or contaminated lands unsuitable for other purposes.
#2 Wind Energy Has A Fast Return on Investment (ROI)
For years wind energy detractors pointed to the high upfront cost and per-kilowatt contract cost of wind generation. However, with a useful life of about 20 years, wind turbines’ ROI (return on investment) is now paid back in 5-8 months.
While the initial cost of a wind turbine is high, the power source, wind, is free. Turbines also have relatively low running costs once they are constructed and need little maintenance.
#3 Wind Energy is Now Cheaper than Coal
One report examining the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) shows U.S. renewable energy prices continued falling over the past year. For example, both wind and solar hitting new lows, and costs fell below the cost of coal in 2018.
#4 Wind Energy is A New Source For High Tech Jobs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted over the next ten years, wind turbine service technicians are the #1 fastest growing occupations with an average salary of $53,900.
While still an emerging job sector, the number of renewable energy jobs now exceeds 120,000. Today, over 530 factories in 43 states build wind and solar energy-related parts and supplies.
In 2021 the Biden Administration released a plan for the United States to get 40% of its electricity from solar energy by 2035, a significant jump from the 4% solar contributes today. “This would result in as many as 1.5 million people in the process,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.
#5 Wind Energy Protects Our Future
Wind energy is only one of the solutions to reduce the proven effects of global climate change. By investing in the technology and its implementation, growth has meant that it’s become more cost-efficient in the energy produced.
This video presents a non-political outline of the situation that the planet finds itself in. It does not offer any solutions. This was first posted on Thumbwind in 2012. Eight years later, it resonates even more.
Some may consider it propaganda, while others feel it prophetic. Nevertheless, it’s required viewing in several classes in colleges throughout Michigan.
#6 Renewable Energy Stocks Prove A Wise Investment
Forbes has monitored Renewable Energy Stocks, including solar panel makers, lithium miners, and hydrogen fuel cell producers based in the United States. This class of assets has outpaced the market substantially, returning over 159 percent since the end of 2019, compared to 29 percent for the S&P 500.
However, the year-to-date results in 2021 have been underwhelming. Renewables are down around 2% year to far, compared to the broader S&P 500, which is up over 19% over the same period. In addition, rising bond rates, which have harmed futures and growth stocks, and potential delays in the approval of the U.S. infrastructure plan, which earmarks funding to speed the development of renewable energy solutions, are impacting this area negatively.
Sources: Wind Energy Development & Invest in Wind Energy
#1 – U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis. (n.d.). Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/wind/wind-energy-and-the-environment.php
#2 – Richard, M. (n.d.). The Energy Payback for a 2-Megawatt Wind Turbine That Lasts Over 20 Years Is… 5-8 Months. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.treehugger.com/energy-paypack-megawatt-wind-turbine-lasts-over-years-months-4858396
#3 – Singh, D. (n.d.). Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage 2019. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.lazard.com/perspective/lcoe2019
#4 – Fastest Growing Occupations: Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2020, September 01). Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm
#5 – Incubatepictures. (2012, February 11). There’s No Tomorrow (limits to growth & the future). Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg
#6 – Team, T., 2021. Renewable Stocks Are Lagging Despite Big Opportunity. Should You Buy In?. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2021/10/11/renewable-stocks-are-lagging-despite-big-opportunity-should-you-buy-in/?sh=299b841b56bf
Related articles for Wind Energy Development
DTE Energy on Wind Turbine Taxes – “Appeal Each One!” – Since 2018, DTE Energy has filed more than 60 appeals for wind turbines in the Michigan Thumb Wind parks in Huron Gratiot and Sanilac counties. Exelon Wind has filed 74 tax appeals.
Wind Farm Development Almost Splits Lake Township Michigan – This is an older post from 2012 that highlighted the political battles that took place regarding wind energy development in Lake Township within Huron County. It was an interesting chain of events that could have resulted in the breakup of the township.
Michigan Wind Energy Map Updated – Our highly viewed Michigan Wind Farm Map has been updated with new wind farm project information and updates. All entries have been enhanced with detailed information. Our newest addition links to wind farm power output provided by U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Huron County Wind Farm Moratorium Didn’t Stop Wind Growth in Michigan – Huron County Michigan’s 2015 moratorium on new development of wind power in Michigan’s Thumb gave rise to the possibility that other wind and solar projects would pause in the Great Lakes region. It was thought that the Huron County commissions wind farm moratorium would have a chilling ripple effect on other wind projects underway in the Great Lakes region and Ontario. It didn’t.
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10 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Invest in Wind Energy Development for the Future”
In the past and hopefully in the future “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Let’s hope.
The presentation was great. Thanks.
What a pity. I expected the girl speaking to commit Seppuku at the end of the propaganda film. What a wasted opportunity.
I had to look up what Seppuku is. The producer of the film was purposely attempting to re-create and spoof the filmstrip and cartoon films that I remember in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Of course all those were propaganda too.
Wind energy mtsloy replaces energy from coal-fired power plants. In reality wind will never fully supplant nonrenewable energy sources because it is not reliable (non-windy days). There must always be back-up sources that can be used on demand. The cleanest solution would be nuclear and natural gas nonrenewables along with geothermal, wind, and solar renewables.
risks it costs over $1 million USD to put up ONE liidmnwl so.. when you see 500 or 600 or 800 of them in a big field, you can calculate the cost One of them produces enough electricity to power, what . 5 houses? of all of the liidmnwls we have ALLLL OVER the us . thousands .. it only accounts for 1% of our energy. also, they are cool, but it sucks having millions of 400 foot tall liidmnwls dotting the what would otherwise be a beautiful landscape. also, there are only certain places in the world, certain types of landscapes that are truly conducive of having liidmnwls. and of those places, most of them have them already. and even there, they don’t ALL ALWAYS spin.. when they aren’t spinning, they aren’t producing.benefits . that’s 1% less coal that we have to burn. but realistically, there doesn’t HAVE to be ANY coal burned at this point. it could all be nuclear. meltdowns are very very very very very very very very very very very unlikely. the only reason they’ve ever had one was because the staff there didn’t keep up with the equipment because they didn’t feel they had to.. and of course there was a meltdown. The problem is the waste it produces. germany subsidizes solar power they allow the sale of solar energy by the public. because of that, there are TONS AND TONS AND TONS of solar panels all over the place, and about 46% of their energy COMES from solar whereas 2% of the US’s power comes from solar. problem is, if it’s dark, it’s not producing there are ways to convertt water into electricity, but governments won’t allow it. sea water could be filtered, have electrolites added, hydrolicized to an “unstable” liquid, and burned by machines that generate electricity there’s an over abundance of sea water, and hell the level is getting higher each year is it not? the only biproduct of such a thing would be atomized water not co2.
This video sums what is wrong with American public education. Political indoctrination has replaced mathematics and science.
The wind doesn’t start blowing just becsuae you turned on a switch so you’re gambling that wind energy would be available when you need it. There’s a capital investment in both land and in the generator itself, there’s maintenance, there’s transmission costs, basically it amounts to a high startup cost, a constant operational cost but results in a variable uncontrollable generation of energy. The risk is that you won’t have the power when you can sell the power and you may have too much power when you can’t sell the power.
World class stupid. These idiots don’t even know what economic growth IS. A doubling of GNP is not a doubling of STUFF. It is a doubling of VALUE. In particular, we are always learning to do more with less. Economic growth is not the road into a dead end, as this idiot video depicts, but is the reason there will not be a dead end, unless these anti-capitalist anti-growth leftists get their way.
Please consider a serious review of this thought. Its classical underpinnings developed early in the last century by the Chicago School of economics are now under question. Check out “The End of Growth” by Richard Heinberg
I’ve tried to “like” your posts before and haven’t been able to. Seems like I couldn’t comment once either (not positive on that). This isn’t a complaint. I’m just letting you know in case you weren’t aware. Take care and have a blessed holiday season!