Virtually all energy sources, including fossil fuels, actually come from sunlight.
In the case of wind, the sun’s warmth causes the rising of hot air in some parts of the planet. Elsewhere, colder, denser air sinks, thus inducing the movement of air: wind.
Wind is the continuous movement of air, of which the Earth produces much more than we could ever use. Our vast landscapes, coastlines, plains, and mountains all contribute to the supply of this inexhaustible resource.
To date, Canada under-exploits its enormous potential for wind energy production. At present, only one million households are provided with aeolian electricity. Countries like Denmark currently fill more than 20% of their energy needs from wind. If it was similar in Canada, 17 million families would get their power in this way.
There are several drawbacks to the initiation of wind projects. The noise, the impact on the visual quality of the landscape, and impacts on bird and bat populations are often highlighted. In addition, energy is intermittent – depending on whether the wind is blowing – and often requires transport over long distances.
However, the benefits are many. A major advantage of wind energy is its availability worldwide, suggesting the possibility for national energy independence. One must also consider the absence of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, besides those produced during the manufacturing phase. Unlike other energy sources, wind energy can be coupled to the land on which crops or livestock are already located, as turbines are generally consistent with these activities.
Finally, the implementation of wind energy would create many jobs. And thanks to modern technological advances, the cost per kilowatt-hour of this electricity would be greatly reduced.