Green Fee Proposal: Wind Energy

Union College is known for the Nott Memorial, and the students of Union College know that the wind that is generated around the Nott across the Rugby field can be very strong. As a college, we should work to utilize this potential wind energy and put in wind turbines or a windmill that can harness the wind energy that is generated. Although wind turbines are unattractive, they could be beneficial considering how hard the wind blows and the energy we would receive could potentially save our school a lot of money. Every student at our school can vividly remember how strong and cold the winter winds are on our campus. If we could harness and store that energy then our school could potentially utilize a majority of this wind energy when weather conditions are optimal.

Efficiency of wind turbines

One of the largest ways of creating wind power is through wind turbines. To generate wind power, one needs an apparatus that enables air flow to provide the mechanical power to turn electric generators. Wind turbines acts as an alternative to burning fossil fuels. There are a surplus of wind turbines in this country, they are “renewable, widely distributed, clean, produce no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consume no water, and use little land.” They are overall extremely sustainable and a wonderful option instead of burning fossil fuels to power generators.

Though wind turbines obviously rely on certain weather conditions, they produce more than enough power for how much they save the environment.¬†A single wind turbine can produce energy for nearly 500 homes. As for cost, “Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost roughly $3,000 to $8,000 per kilowatt of capacity. A 10 kilowatt machine (the size needed to power a large home) might have an installed cost of $50,000-$80,000 (or more). Wind turbines have significant economies of scale. Smaller farm or residential scale turbines cost less overall, but are more expensive per kilowatt of energy producing capacity. Oftentimes there are tax and other incentives that can dramatically reduce the cost of a wind project.”

Though this may seem like a hefty financial necessity, the amount of good that these wind turbines are doing for the environment is undoubtedly worth the cost.