Wind Energy (Photo: janie.hernandez55)By Tom Mc Carrick
People are becoming more and more aware of the need to conserve energy, as the earth's supplies of energy-producing materials are reducing all the time.
Now more than ever, the search is on for alternative energy sources, in particular for those sources that are freely available and which will not get depleted as time goes on.
The landscape is dotted with wind turbines in many areas (and the opponents are becoming fewer and fewer). There was a time when wind turbines were anathema in the eyes of conservationists, but now, for the most part, the construction of these energy-producing giants are welcomed.
And giants they are indeed - I didn't realise how massive some of these windmills are until recently when I stopped to observe one close to the road I was driving on. But of course, it's not all about big, industrial-size wind turbines as we shall see.
We are well aware of such power sources of course, and that much of the world's energy is indeed produced by falling water, wind turbines and by solar energy. Energy companies are looking to harness these sources more and more and indeed some electricity-producing companies rely completely on wind power, while others use hydro-electric energy.
But it's no longer seen as the responsibility of the power companies alone. This shift in public perception probably started around the time of the oil shortage crisis in the 1970's, and has gathered momentum ever since. Now, everyday folk want to do their part to conserve energy and use renewable energy whenever they can. And this is being taken a step further by more and more households.
This is because it has become feasible to generate electricity in a backyard, and the equipment costs have fallen considerably. Domestic wind turbines are becoming a more common site now, and this is easing the burden on the big energy-producing corporations as they try to keep up with demand.
In times of economic difficulty, anything that helps to reduce costs is beneficial. Energy for a household that is home-produced will result in big savings compared with having to buy the same units of power.
There is really no good argument against having a homemade power source, such as a small wind turbine. I can't go along with the complaint that they are "unsightly". That one just doesn't fly anymore. And they are no longer seen as the preserve of eccentrics, or anti-establishment types.
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