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Dispelling the onshore wind myth (Part 2)

In the previous article “Dispelling the onshore wind myth (Part 1),” we discuss some issues with wind turbines and give you a picture of wind power. In this article, we will give you a more in-depth introduction, focusing on whether the construction of wind power generation has any special impact on our lives.

Q1. Does too much renewable energy threaten to overwhelm the grid?

The power grid can absorb all the electricity produced by renewables, and the quantity absorbed depends on the accuracy of the power grid dispatching. The smart meter is one of the most vital devices used in the smart grid. The smart meter can obtain information from the end users' load devices that can calculate the consumer's energy consumption and then offer the information to the energy supplier. As a result, smart grids can enhance the energy efficiency of power systems. The greater the number of smart meters used, the more renewable power can be absorbed by the power grid. Therefore, promoting the establishment of smart grids will help significantly increase the capacity of renewable energy used in the grid. For example, advanced countries such as Europe and the United States have even proposed that renewable energy will increase to 50% of total power generation. Considering the current situation of Taiwan's power grid, there is still much room for improvement.

Q2. Will wind and sand brought by the northeast monsoon cause the wind turbine to break down or have a safety impact?

The corrosion caused by wind and sand on machinery and equipment depends on whether the equipment’s oil seal and anti-corrosion treatment are appropriate. Wind and sand erosion damage can be minimized if it is regularly maintained following the technical and maintenance standards. Also, the wind turbine itself has a good anti-wind sand and anti-erosion design.

Q3. Will it affect the daily lives of residents during the construction process?

Generally speaking, it will take no more than 60 cumulative working days from construction to the hoisting of wind turbines. Further, its construction period is shorter than that of public construction and general buildings, so it doesn't cause any inconvenience to people's livelihood.

Q4. In the next ten years, land wind turbines in Taiwan are going to be replaced and renewed, and at least 900 blades will be "broken and buried"?

Up to 95% material of the wind turbines is recyclable. However, the turbine blades are the most difficult part to encounter. The turbine blades are designed to have lightweight, high strength, corrosion resistance, and fatigue resistance. They are usually made of glass-reinforced polymer composites (GRP), which are hard to recycle. However, many companies are exploring solutions for reusing turbine blades. For example, Fred. Olsen Renewables, a renewable energy company, and ReBlade, the specialist wind turbine and nacelle decommissioning service in the UK, make good use of the characteristics of blade materials and recycle them into furniture. Besides, a company in Denmark has turned it into a bicycle shed. As you can see, we can also give new uses to the blades.

To sum up, if more smart meters are used in the future, the proportion of renewable energy used in Taiwan will increase. We do not need to worry about the negative impact of wind power generation on our livelihood during manufacturing. Also, the northeast monsoon will not have a significant negative impact on wind turbines. Wind turbines can also be recycled and reused when they reach the end of their lifespan. The next part, the final chapter, will answer your most curious environment-related questions, so please stay tuned!


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