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Questions about wind energy? Check out the answers to the EIGHT main questions on the topic; technology can reduce energy bill costs by up to 100%, but issues such as installation, cost, authorization and integration into the traditional system still raise doubts

Written by Alisson Ficher
Published 24/06/2024 às 13:59
The main doubts about wind energy. (Image: reproduction/ AI)
The main doubts about wind energy. (Image: reproduction/ AI)

Wind energy has gained prominence as a clean and renewable solution to meet global energy demands. However, many still have doubts about the functioning, advantages, disadvantages and other aspects of this technology.

In this article from Click Oil and Gas Let's explore the answers to the top eight questions about wind energy.

In order to provide a complete overview of the subject, we consulted reliable sources on the subject, such as, for example, Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica) and National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).

Wind Energy in Brazil

Brazil has stood out on the global stage as one of the main producers of wind energy. With many natural resources, the country has a Huge potential for generating energy through wind.

According to the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, Brazil currently occupies the leadership in Latin America and is one of the five largest producers of wind energy in the world.

Just as Click Petróleo e Gás has been publishing, the Northeast region of Brazil is especially favored due to its climatic conditions, with constant and intense winds, ideal for the installation of wind farms.

States such as Rio Grande do Norte, Bahia and Ceará are the largest producers, contributing significantly to the country's energy matrix. According to data from ANEEL, the installed capacity of wind energy in Brazil exceeded 20 gigawatts (GW) in 2023, being responsible for around 10% of total electricity generation.

In addition to contributing to sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the wind energy has boosted the regional economy, generating jobs and development in the areas where wind farms are installed. Continued investment in infrastructure and technology promises to further expand this energy source in the coming years.

The Main Questions on the Topic

Below you can see the eight main questions on the subject. Check out:

How does wind energy capture work?

Wind energy is captured through turbines, which are structures equipped with propellers similar to those of a fan. These propellers are connected to a generator that transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy.

As the wind blows, the propellers turn, moving an axis connected to a generator. This generator converts the energy of movement into electricity. According to the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, a single turbine can generate enough energy to supply thousands of homes, depending on its size and the local wind speed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy?

Wind energy has several advantages. Among the benefits stand out sustainability, as it is an inexhaustible source and does not emit polluting gases; the creation of jobs, both in the installation and maintenance of turbines; and the reduction in electricity bills, since the wind is free.

According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Brazil has great wind potential, especially in the Northeast region, where wind intensity is greater and more constant.

However, there are also disadvantages. A wind intermittence can represent a challenge, as energy generation depends on the availability of this natural resource.

Furthermore, turbines can cause a visual and sound impact, and some people report discomfort with the noise generated. According to experts, it is crucial to carry out adequate planning to minimize these impacts and ensure the efficiency of the system.

What is the environmental impact of wind energy?

The environmental impact of wind energy is significantly lower when compared to fossil sources such as coal and oil.

Wind turbines do not produce carbon emissions during operation, contributing to the reduction of the greenhouse effect.

According to studies by the National Electric Energy Agency, wind energy has helped to avoid the emission of millions of tons of CO₂.

However, there are impacts that deserve attention. The installation of turbines can affect local fauna, especially birds and bats, which can collide with the propellers.

In this sense, presearchers suggestthe implementation of measures that aim to reduce these impacts, such as choosing appropriate locations to install turbines and the use of technologies that keep animals away from the propellers.

What is the cost of installing and maintaining wind turbines?

The cost of installing wind turbines can vary considerably depending on the size and capacity of the system. Average, the initial investment is high, but operation and maintenance costs are relatively low.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), installation costs vary between 1.000 and 1.500 dollars per kilowatt (kW) installed. Turbine maintenance involves regular inspections, lubricating components, and replacing worn parts.

According to sector data, the useful life of a wind turbine is approximately 20 to 25 years, and annual maintenance can cost around 2 to 3% of the initial investment. This cost is offset by savings on your energy bill over the years.

How does wind energy integrate into the electrical generation system?

Wind energy is integrated into the electrical generation system through transmission and distribution networks, as well as other energy sources. Wind turbines produce alternating current (AC) electricity, which is compatible with the national electrical system.

According to the National Electric System Operator (ONS), The energy generated by the turbines is sent to substations, where it is transformed and distributed to consumers.

The integration of wind energy into the electrical system requires planning and investment in infrastructure. Studies indicate that the variability of wind generation can be managed by diversifying the energy matrix and using storage technologies, such as batteries and reversible hydroelectric plants.

Do I need authorization to install wind energy at home?

One of the main questions, based on comments made in Click Petróleo e Gás publications, is whether or not authorization is necessary. Here, the answer: yes, to install a residential wind energy system, specific authorizations must be obtained, which may vary depending on the location.

In general, you must comply with municipal, state and federal regulations. According to ANEEL, interested parties must request a distributed microgeneration authorization, which allows the system to be connected to the electricity grid.

In addition to authorizations, it is essential to carry out a feasibility study to check whether the location is suitable for installing the turbines. According to experts, viability depends on the speed and constancy of the winds, in addition to factors such as the topography of the terrain and the proximity of obstacles that could interfere with air circulation.

What are the main technical challenges of wind energy?

Wind energy faces some technical challenges that need to be overcome to maximize its efficiency. Wind variability is one of the main challenges, as energy production depends on the intensity and constancy of this natural resource. To mitigate this problem, wind farms are often installed in locations with predictable and consistent winds.

Another challenge is the transmission of generated energy in remote areas to urban centers, where demand is greater. According to experts, this requires investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure. Furthermore, integration with other energy sources and management of the electrical grid are essential to guarantee the stability of the system.

Is wind energy viable in urban areas?

The viability of wind energy in urban areas is limited due to the presence of obstacles, such as buildings and other structures, which can interfere with wind circulation. However, smaller-scale projects, such as micro wind turbines, have shown promise for residential and commercial applications in cities.

These microturbines are designed to operate at lower wind speeds and can be installed on rooftops or open areas. According to studies, although the contribution of these turbines is smaller compared to large turbines installed in wind farms, they can complement other renewable energy sources, such as solar, and reduce dependence on grid energy.

Now it's up to you, reader!

Do you think wind energy could become the main source of energy in Brazil in the coming years? Why? Leave your answers in the comments! To the next!

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Alisson Ficher

Journalist graduated since 2017 and working in the field since 2015, with six years of experience in printed magazines and more than 12 thousand online publications. Specialist in topics such as politics, jobs, economics, courses and others. If you have any questions or suggestions for an agenda regarding any of the topics covered on the site, please get in touch.

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