What are the major challenges faced in generating and using wind energy?

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What are the major challenges faced in generating and using wind energy?

As the world seeks green, sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuels, wind energy certainly seems like an attractive option.

The advantages of wind energy is already discussed here. These are some of the major challenges faced in generating and using wind energy as follows:

1. Highly dependent on climatic conditions such as the availability and strength of wind.

The turbine blades used to generate power depend on the strength of wind for rotation. They, therefore, rotate slowly or do not rotate at all in the absence of wind.

In some countries and locations there is not enough wind to generate wind energy. One example is a quiet valley, where the mountains all around shield the valley from gusts of wind and thus make it difficult to harness much wind energy.

2. A change in the landscape.

Because in order to work wind farms need to be tall, and to involve several wind turbines working together, wind farms can totally change the look of a town, village or agricultural area. Some residents may feel that the addition of the wind farm has meant that their community has lost its traditional look and feel.

3. Noisy turbines.

The sound of the blades of wind turbines as they move can be somewhat loud, particularly if you walk or even live near by to them. Loud unwanted noises that affect people’s every day lives are described as noise pollution. Wind farms have been known to cause noise pollution. However, one solution, is to locate the wind farm in a remote place where it will not offend human ears, such as out to sea.

4. A danger to birds and animals

There have unfortunately been numerous cases of birds being harmed due to flying in to wind turbines. What is more, the currents of air created by wind turbines can actually ‘suck’ birds inescapably towards the wind farm. Again there is a solution to this problem and it involves redesigning the blades of wind turbines so that they do not allow birds to get sucked in to them.

Further, the noise from the plants can also upset the wildlife in the surrounding area.

5. Inefficient

Wind turbines can only convert about 59% of wind power into usable electricity, rendering them inefficient in power generation.

6. Underutilized capacity:

And it is important to bear in mind that most wind turbines do not operate at their maximum efficiency at all times due to the fact that the wind does not blow at a constantly strong rate all of the time.

7. Remote location:

Wind power plants are mostly located in remote areas, far away from the cities where the power is needed. Additional costs will then be incurred in building new power transmission lines.

8. Initial investments can be high:

Though cheaper that some other form of renewable energy, wind farms ca be costly to set up than traditional forms of energy. This means that communities will need to budget carefully if they are thinking about installing a wind farm.

9. The need for transmission lines.

because of the reasons given above, many communities decide that the best place for their wind farm is in a remote location, far away from houses – and even from human sight. However, this creates a further problem: how do we transport the energy that the wind farm has generated over to the homes and businesses of the people who want to use it? The way to do this is by using so called energy transmission lines, which can involve further considerable cost and effort.


There is still some room for improvement when it comes to wind farms and wind turbines, however. For example, developments in technology are needed to make all wind farms more bird safe, to reduce the levels of noise that they create and (perhaps most importantly) to make them more energy-efficient. Luckily, scientists and engineers are working on these very issues right now.

Despite these challenges, wind energy still remains an ideal source of renewable energy.

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