By: Brianna Childers
Summary: The market for alternative energy is becoming dominated by wind and solar energy in order to reduce carbon emissions. Alternative renewable energy is becoming more popular from the fact that the world needs to reduce the need for burning coal and gas generated electricity. Many substantial companies such as DTE Energy have been investing millions of dollars in renewable energy sources for years. DTE is now transforming its power generation by building wind turbines. In 2019, a new wind park was created in Gratiot and Isabella County with more than 60 wind turbines. The Pine River Wind Park is now one of the largest wind farms in Michigan and generates enough power for more than 54,000 homes. The new project by DTE will reduce 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year which is equivalent to removing about 63,000 cars off the road for a year according to officials. Last year, DTE committed more than $2 billion in renewable energy for the next five years. By 2020 the energy company expects to generate enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes.
One of the obvious benefits of wind power is that wind turbines do not produce carbon dioxide, particulates, acid gases etc. that could contaminate the atmosphere or groundwater. Other benefits of this energy are that wind turbines have a shorter planning period than nuclear power plants. Also, wind power projects are modular meaning that more wind turbines can be added to an area if necessary, to capture more energy. The biggest benefit however is that there is no fuel costs and air emissions. However, location is slightly tricky because the area needs to be windy in order to generate and capture the most amount of energy.
Why we should care? Anyone who is concerned about global warming or running out of renewable resources should consider learning more about clean energy such as wind power. Right now, wind power is one of the largest suppliers of alternative green energy in the world!
I found this article interesting because it mentions DTE, one of the biggest suppliers of energy in Michigan. DTE is my personal energy supplier in Detroit, therefore I was interested to read what they are doing to reduce carbon emissions. Global warming is becoming an enormous problem; therefore, I think that it is very important for larger companies to be taking steps to a cleaner future. Wind power is one of the most cost-effective ways to produce renewable energy and I am happy to see that this alternative energy is dominating the market along with solar energy. While researching this topic, I came across an article about possibly building offshore wind turbines which I also found very interesting as it may happen in the near future.
Science in Action.
Josh Paquette is a research scientist in the Wind Energy Technologies Department at Sandia National Laboratories.
Paquette’s research includes understanding the dynamics of wind at different elevations in order to capture greater energy source. His research also includes addressing the structural and system dynamics of wind turbines. New materials and manufacturing processes are needed in order to address the emerging issues of scalability, transportation, and recycling as these turbines continue to get larger. Lastly, Paquette mentions that we need to focus on making renewable energy cost effective by designing and operating wind power plants to support and foster grid reliability and resiliency. Paquette’s research is relevant to my topic because for a wind plant to be successful, is must be cost effective, controllable, and placed in the right location.