A sweeping landscape dominated by towering three-armed windmills. This somewhat futuristic scene is included at least once in every ad for renewable energy, reminding us of the immediate need to move away from fossil fuels and its damaging effects on our climate and environment.
With over 350,000 wind turbines in the world today, these clean energy giants are slowing becoming a permanent fixture on our horizon. According to The International Renewable Energy Agency, wind power will cover 35% of our global energy needs by 2050. If achieved, this would mean a drastic reduction in total CO2 emissions, setting the world on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of a 2°c limit in global warming.
Which way is the wind blowing?
For more than a century the world’s energy needs have been met by burning fossil fuels, with oil, coal and gas providing for about 80% of consumption. Sadly, this dependence cannot continue. With their high carbon content combined with our increasing demand, fossil fuels are causing a detrimental long-term effect on our climate.
Naturally, our push for alternative energy sources like wind, solar, nuclear and hydro has been integral in our fight to reverse the effects of global warming. So, given such high stakes, why is our
dependence on carbon-fuelled electricity is still such a formidable roadblock?
According to the University of Arkansas our reluctance is due to its efficiency as an energy source. The dense nature of fossil fuel means ‘a little goes a long way’ making it a convenient habit that’s hard to break. Fortunately, the introduction of an Australian Carbon tax in 2012, combined with the growth of renewable alternatives is helping us see a future beyond this dependence.
What’s so great about wind farms?
Wind farms are a clean source of energy, so unlike conventional power plants running on carbon-based fuels, they don’t contribute to air pollution. They require little ongoing maintenance, are sustainable, and extremely cost effective to run.
Advancements in modern design have also made operating wind turbines more efficient and affordable. With a smaller footprint, turbines are now being installed on farms and residential development sites with no significant economic impact.
Above all, windfarms are a majestic and serene edition to our landscape. Towering far about the day-to-day hustle of life, they are an eerie, yet promising reminder that there is hope for our future.
The Future of Wind Power in Australia
By world standards, Australia has exceptional wind resources. For the first time in 2019 wind farms overtook hydro as our leading source of clean energy, with 101 farms generating enough electricity to meet 8.5% of the nation’s total demand – and these numbers are rising. Australia has another 30 wind farm projects due to start or under current construction.
SPEL Puraceptor Installed at Dundonnell Wind Farm
Recently, SPEL installed a Puraceptor at the Dundonnell Wind Farm near Mortlake, Victoria. Dundonnell is the state’s largest wind farm project, designed to provide enough electricity for 245,000 homes. Another, soon for completion in 2021, is Stockyard Hill, 35km west of Ballarat. These large-scale wind farm projects will help Victoria achieve a net-zero carbon emission by 2050.
In case of an emergency, SPEL’s Puraceptor will contain oil from the wind farm’s transformer
There is still a long way to go, but the growth in renewable energy – especially wind power, looks promising. Let’s keep the winds of change blowing by demanding clean energy and a climate safe future.