The Earth continues to rotate and weather patterns constantly change. Wind is the result of these activities. In fact, nearly every part of the globe has some wind blowing during a given part of the day. It makes sense that energy industries would look toward wind turbines as a lucrative, production source. Wind turbines are being built at a record pace, but you won’t find them around the South. From Alabama to Florida, turbines are oddly absent. Understand why you won’t see wind turbines in the South because there are several reasons that overlap.
Lack of Government Incentives
The federal government offers some incentives to energy industries when it comes to renewable resources. However, most industries want a mixture of both federal and state incentives. Take a look at the South, and most of these states don’t have renewable portfolio standards or RPS to motivate turbine construction.
When a state requires a certain amount of renewable energy from wind, the industries respond with designs and installations. The state covers many of the costs or reimburses the turbine companies. There’s money to be made in these cases. Without the incentive, industries must carry the high costs of building turbines and recouping the investment over several years.
Low Wind Speeds
Wind turbines need air flow to operate. This simple fact is one of the reasons why the South doesn’t have installations. Across the Great Plains, wind speeds are consistent and strong at the proper height of about 262 feet. Install a wind turbine in the South, however, and the blades won’t see much action.
Low wind speeds at 262 feet high aren’t strong enough to rotate the blades in the South. The weather patterns and geographical landmarks work against a turbine in these areas. Wind patterns would have to shift in order to make a difference in the South.
Solar Power’s Influence
Although Florida and California are known for their sunny weather, the South isn’t void of this resource either. In fact, there are many solar panels installed in the South for renewable energy purposes. For this reason, wind turbines aren’t a priority. The cost factor is minimal when you compare a panel installation with a turbine investment, for instance.
Panels can be subtly installed on rooftops while freeing up the surrounding land. When it comes to turbines, they must be installed on solid ground. With many marshlands in and around the South’s coastlines, turbines just aren’t a viable installation at times.
The Oil Industry
Don’t forget that the South is home to many oil industries. Rigs located just off of the coast are full of profitable businesses and full-time employees. These industries don’t necessarily want another form of competition on the land.
In fact, many cities and counties are reliant on oil’s jobs for economic purposes. Any significant changes to the area’s economy can create financial strain. Wind farms don’t match with the area’s financial goals. Any renewable energy that might be used is often imported from other states or harnessed through solar panels.
Many states near the South, such as Oklahoma, are already harnessing their own wind. Turbines are already in place. The investment is done for these industries. A few southern states, as a result, are buying wind power from established entities. Because wind energy is ample in another state, these companies offer the extra energy to states without turbines. There’s no investment on the part of the South, so turbine-free areas still benefit from wind energy without the high cost of running and maintaining the components.
Sharing resources is one of the main reasons why the South probably won’t have wind turbines soon. It just doesn’t make economical sense.
For any questions about wind energy, contact Kurz today. Our team can cover any aspect of wind power so that the technology is understandable. In little time, turbines might be too numerous to count across most of