Cartwright-I haven’t done any type of research into wind farms to be able to say whether there’s a net positive or net negative impact. As long as the economics work, I think wind farms have tremendous potential and merit. I have long thought that we should have windmills along the coasts and offshore where you seem to always have a breeze. In addition, I would love to see smaller windmills placed on the roofs of buildings on somewhere on the property to help generate power for the facility. Wind is a great renewable energy source and has been used throughout history.
Where I might have some concern is the impact on wildlife. I’m sure that there are aviary casualties resulting from windmill farms. I don’t know the magnitude of these casualties. If the wind farms aren’t going to have a negative impact on the wildlife ecosystem, I see no reason that they would have a net negative impact on the environment. Seems like everything points to positives for the environment and society.
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I am an absolute proponent of renewable energy sources, and I see the protests against wind farms as a modern version of the Luddites, with possible secret backing by the fossil fuel producers whose livelihoods are threatened by the breeze-catchers.
Of course, just like with any industrial installation, prudence must be exercised with the location. Putting the giant propellers too near airports isn’t a great idea, and keeping them away from residential areas just makes sense, lest a catastrophic mechanical failure send a 40-foot turbine blade through Aunt Melinda’s Thanksgiving dinner, pulverizing two generations of the family. There is some evidence that wind farms may have an effect on migrating birds, but the jury is still out, and it certainly won’t be as bad as smog from power plants.
Beyond those practical considerations, however, I don’t see a single good argument against building as many turbines as humanly possible.
Harness the wind, harness the steam from the ground and build whirligigs to generate power from the tide. Catch sunlight and make energy out of it. I have no issue with any of it!
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-I’m an avid fan of wilderness areas. I believe in conservation of natural resources and protecting the environment. I think the world should get away from burning fossil fuels as fast as possible. I think harnessing wind power is second only to using solar panels to provide our energy. Yet some environmentalists believe that large wind farms with giant turbines are the worst thing in the world because birds are being killed by the blades and the low humming emitted from the turbines is creating sound pollution that also affects wildlife in the area.
Even though birds are killed by windmills and the immediate environment around a wind farm may disturb the natural habitat, I don’t think environmentalists give animals enough credit for their ability to adapt. It’s reasonable to assume that birds will evolve enough that they learn to recognize windmills by sight and sound and alter their flying to avoid crashing into turbine blades. Just as most animals have learned to avoid humans and be wary of human habitats, I expect windmills will become just another human obstacle for them to avoid. And if the low-level noise pollution created by a windmill negatively disrupts animals in that area, it’s logical to assume they’ll relocate to another area to avoid that disruption.
It’s also a negative for the environment that resources are consumed to produce, ship, install, and maintain a windmill. But each windmill replaces the need to burn that much more fossil fuel, which permanently reduces the pollution created by that oil or gas.
Wind is a variable, so a windmill can’t produce a steady, predictable amount of energy over time. But over the long term, a well-built, well-maintained windmill located in a reliably windy area should produce enough clean electricity to offset the initial consumption of natural resources and its related pollution.
One positive that may be overlooked is that windmills will become cheaper and more acceptable as more are produced, we accustom ourselves to seeing windmills all over, and we realize they are an affordable, viable energy option and not just a curious experiment.
On balance, while not the perfect source of energy, wind farms have a net positive effect on the environment.
Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Wind farms with huge turbines definitely impact the environment positively. Wind farms, which generate wind energy, is a clean fuel source. It does not pollute the air nor does it rely on fossil fuel such as coal or natural gas to operate.
Wind turbines themselves do not emit carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases while producing electricity. Wind power eludes nuclear power’s radioactive wastes and potential for nuclear accidents.
In the past, people were concerned that these wind warms, especially close to aviaries affected birds. However, that was because the turbines were moving very fast. Since the speed has been cut, these accidents have declined.
However, based on what experts have said, sustainable and renewable energy that does not contribute to global warming and emit harmful gas is more attractive than a few birds.
To operate these turbines is also inexpensive. The cost also continues to decline. The power from these turbines are also free once the infrastructure is attained and installed.
With that been said, it is a reliable source of energy that does not affect the environment.
Wind turbines are stationed high above the ground and allows for other use of the land. A common example is agriculture. With the turbines operating efficiently, it does not obstruct grazing animals and fields of crops.
The net negative impact of these turbines aren’t immense. Most people consider them an eyesore, and they do occasionally kill wild birds and bats.