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When it comes to investing in wind turbines to create electricity, there are various factors that need to be considered.
Most obviously, the creation of wind energy is ‘clean’. Unlike the use of coal or oil, generating energy from the wind doesn’t produce pollutants or require harmful chemicals, and it’s this factor which weighs most heavily with those worried about the future of our planet. Moreover, wind will never run out, unlike other natural, non-renewable resources. So it would seem to be a winner in at least two very significant areas.
There are those, however, who continue to argue against the use of wind turbines — but it has to be said their arguments tend to focus on much more detailed issues, and largely ignore the bigger overall picture. It’s claimed, for example, that the blades of wind turbines can sometimes be dangerous to wildlife, particularly birds.
This may be true, but it seems a small price to pay compared to using other means of power generation, which could end up destroying the habitats of those very same birds. In addition, the sound turbines create can, admittedly, be a problem for those nearby. Perhaps a more significant point, though, and certainly one often mentioned by those who object to turbines, is that it requires a lot of open land to set them up, and cutting down trees seems to defeat the green purpose.
Those who criticise wind energy point out that the wind doesn’t always blow consistently. And that’s certainly a drawback right now — turbines typically operate at only 30% capacity. If the weather isn’t in your favour, you may end up without electricity. And when there is wind, well, severe storms or extremely high winds might damage turbines, especially when they’re struck by lightning. As such weather already damages existing methods of power production, however, this line of attack seems to be without much merit.
Ultimately, wind is free. In suitable geographical locations, it’s there for the taking. While start-up costs are still off-putting for some, it’s undeniable that the overall costs of producing wind energy have been dropping significantly in recent years, and as it gains popularity, it’ll continue to become more affordable. In many countries, the costs of purchasing and installing turbines are subsidised by government schemes aimed to promote expansion.
There are, no question, a number of problems associated with turbines which still require solutions — but in the longer view, the case for them appears beyond doubt.
You’re going to hear a talk about truth and lies.
You will hear the talk twice.
The first time, do not take notes just listen. Then I’ll ask you to tell me generally what the speaker is talking about.
Press play when you are ready
1) Can you tell me in one or two sentences what the speaker was talking about?Click here to see the answer
ANSWER: Gist: Wind energy may be a good way to reduce damage to the environment, but there are drawbacks.
Overall, there is a strong case for using them (any broadly similar formulation is acceptable).CorrectIncorrect
Now listen to the talk again.
This time make some notes as you listen, if you want to.
Then I’ll ask you to tell me what reasons the speaker gives for and against the use of wind energy.
Press play whe you’re readyClick here to see the answer
For Against Clean energy — no harmful chemicals or pollutants involved/produced Turbines dangerous to wildlife, especially birds Will never run out Noisy Doesn’t destroy habitats as other power generation means do Require large area of open land — may lead to cutting down of trees Essentially free/any associated costs falling Supply of wind not consistent — turbines operating at 30% capacity Bad weather can damage turbines
How many points did you understand?