When I say the wind totally blows, I mean that in a good way. And, the more it blows in winter, which it does, the better.
When the cold weather hits, energy usage goes up to produce heat. Natural gas has done the job staving off the shivers during winter, but there are concerns it won’t be able to carry the full load. Increased usage by power plants to create electricity have put a strain on current supply. In addition, natural gas plays a bit dirty. Considered a fossil fuel by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), it contributes to air pollution and isn’t a renewable resource.
The question is: do we build more natural gas pipelines to meet demand or find alternatives? Cue the wind: By building more wind farms, we take the load off (and need for) natural gas, do the environment a favor and invest in a sustainable energy source. Of course, this isn’t great news for the gas industry and there’s sure to be pushback. But, the evidence clearly shows energy from wind gusts over any reservations. You can check out the numbers cited by the Union of Concerned Scientists here.
In colder weather, physics demonstrate that power from wind turbines increases because colder air is denser—and thus can push the blades harder. That’s in comparison to the same wind speed at higher temperatures. Also, data shows that wherever wind farms are built, need for natural gas decreases.
Renewable and carbon-free, wind energy offers an awesome alternative to gas. In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, there’s strong policy support for financing offshore wind. We’re racing far behind in fixing the damage we’ve already done to the earth. The faster the conversion to wind takes place, the better.