Wind Energy Benefits and Disadvantages

Cheap-ElectricityOne of the fastest growing sectors of renewable energy is wind power. Wind energy has been harnessed for many centuries. It has been used to mash grain to make flour, pump water, and more recently, generate electricity. When wind spins the blades of a wind turbine, a large magnet inside the top part of the tower spins inside of a cylinder of copper coils. The magnet passing by these coils generates an electric charge which is transmitted over power lines to the local energy grid. The primary benefit of wind energy is low cost renewable energy, but there is a little more to it than just that.

Wind energy is a true green energy source. Wind is powered by the sun, and generating electricity from wind emits no harmful pollutants into the environment. There is no consumable fuel source like coal or gas to use up, making wind power a renewable source of energy. Renewable energy means that the electricity generation can be sustained for very long period of time. While current estimates say that our oil and gas reserves will last about a hundred years or so, wind energy will be around long after that. Generating electricity from wind is really quite cheap, about four to six cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). They are primarily built in remote areas where winds tend to me the most consistent. You can see wind farms lining ridgelines, dotting the landscapes of plains or farms, or in some other countries, offshore.

That said, planning where to place wind turbines can be a challenge sometimes. Since most wind farm sites are in remote areas, extra infrastructure needs to be added to get the generated electricity to the grid that needs it. This means running long power transmission lines. Sites also need to be fairly consistent with the available wind. An area that gets very little wind will not be cost effective. Similarly, if winds are often too strong, the site will not be viable due to the risk of damaging the machinery. If a potential site for wind turbines has potential for other uses, the landowners will be taking other bids into consideration, thus determining what actual gets implemented.

While wind electricity generation emits no pollutants, it can still have an effect on the environment. There have been reports of increased bird deaths in locations where wind farms exist. However, the number of bird deaths per year is almost inconsequential compared to the number killed from catastrophic pollution disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Noise pollution could be considered a problem for wind sites close to residential areas. The rotation of the rotor blades causes a constant whoosh-whoosh-whoosh sound that some residents may find bothersome. Others may not care for the sight of wind farms, claiming it taints their view.

All in all, wind energy has major benefits when it comes to generating cheap electricity, bolstering the economy, and cleaning up the environment. The challenges facing developers are reduced as technology improves. Newer turbines are quieter, for example. The Department of Energy wants to have 20% of the country’s energy produced by wind by the year 2030. This will expand manufacturing jobs, generate local revenue, conserve water, and even lower natural gas prices. If you want to be part of the wind movement, contact Shop Dallas Electricity today and find a Dallas energy provider that offers renewable energy you have the power to choose your own provider and energy plan, so you can seek out the cheapest electricity rates with the best benefits.

Energy Efficiency on a Bike

New York City has taken energy efficiency to the streets to encourage more people to leave their car at home for the day. Cities in general have high pollution levels due to their high traffic content and tall buildings consuming vast amounts of energy. To help curb the traffic related pollution, Citi Bike was created to allow people to bike to work, the gym, the park, or dinner while eliminating a vehicle from the road. With all the traffic in New York City, carbon emissions pour into the atmosphere at staggering rates, especially when much of that traffic gets stuck in long lines at lights downtown. Citi Bike recently celebrated its first anniversary and hosts over 100,000 members.

The first bike share program, called Bycyklen, started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995. The bike share program worked similar to some grocery store carriage returns. You place a coin into the lock, use your bike until you are finished with it, and when you return the bike and lock it, you get your coin back. The bikes were uncomfortable to ride and primarily became a tourist attraction. Bike share programs have been picking up around the United States recently, however. Seattle, WA is the most recent US city to announce a bike share program, and it will begin in September of 2014. The program will begin with 50 bike docks and 500 bikes.

More than 30 US cities have a bike share program, and Portland, OR, Tampa, FL, and a San Diego, CA will be adding to that list in the coming years. Despite the initial stigma surrounding the first bike share program in Denmark, the current generation programs are really picking up all over the world. Perhaps it’s because more people are concerned with the state of the environment and don’t see these bikes as gimmicks anymore. Regardless of the reason for their increasing popularity, they will provide benefits such as reducing the amount of vehicles on the roads and improving public health.

When it comes to tackling the office buildings in these big cities, one of the best ways to reduce to pollution caused by their constant use of electricity is to enroll in renewable energy plans. Many Dallas electricity companies offer cheap electricity for businesses that feature green plans. If you are a business owner in Dallas, you have the power to choose what kind of electricity you want for your business, and Shop Dallas Electricity can help you find the energy provider that will work best for you.

Energy Saving Lutron Sensor

Saving energy is a primary concern for a lot of people these days. Cutting back on energy use will help us globally, environmentally, and economically. A sustainable living will prolong the life of the environment. We implement several methods to conserve energy, like cutting back on air conditioner use, weather stripping our homes, and shutting off lights when we leave a room. Fortunately, with the advancements in technology, the last option can be automatic. Motions detecting light switches have been around for a long time, but they have only recently been used in common indoor applications.

Today, you can find motion light switches in public restrooms, office rooms,  outside our homes (security lights), and frozen food sections of markets. These switches turn the lights on as soon as a person enters the room and shuts them off after a period of inactivity, usually a couple minutes. Sometimes, this can lead to being left in the dark if you don’t move enough while in the room. Fortunately, there is a solution to the premature darkening and the wasted minutes of energy after leaving.

Lutron created the Maestro occupancy sensor switch based on this motion sensing technology, but with some improvements. The switch’s basic functions are still to turn on when you enter and turn off when you leave. However, this switch is configurable for several different situations. The switch can be set to detect high levels of motion, such as walking, or low levels of motion, such as typing on a keyboard. This means that even though you may not be moving much, the lights won’t go out on you. What’s more is the switch will automatically turn the lights off as soon as you leave? The Maestro sensor can also be set with a dimmer and a vacancy mode. The vacancy mode means you need  to press the switch to turn the lights off, but they will turn themselves off when you leave. This is good for families with pets.

These occupancy sensors are a great way to save on electricity, especially in homes where lights get left on frequently. Installing one of these light switches takes about 15 minutes and can save up to 50% on your lighting energy usage. They also monitor the ambient light level in your home, so they don’t turn on when there is plenty of ambient light, but it will learn to automatically turn on at certain light levels if you tend to turn the lights on when there is still some ambient light.

In addition to changing the light switches, changing your lights will save you money as well. Upgrading from old incandescent light bulbs to more efficient LEDs will save 80-90% on your lighting electricity usage. And signing up with a Dallas electricity provider that offers cheap electricity rates will also get you a huge savings. Shop Dallas Electricity will give you the power to choose your electricity provider and the energy plan you want for your home or office.