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The Truth About Wind Energy

Updated on March 6, 2013

Many cities offer renewable energy credits to consumer to offset pollution, offering energy alternatives like wind energy. However, there has been a lot of talk about how wind farms kill birds and clutter up landscapes. It probably makes you wonder if this “green” energy source is worth the consequences. It is important to make environmentally friendly decisions, but you also need to practice down-to-earth common sense. So before you make a decision, let’s look at the facts.

Power plants can create a lot of pollution. If you we want to clean breather air, we will have to make some compromises. The important thing is to figure out what those compromises should be.

For the Birds

In the 1980s, wind energy was created by turbines that whirled around like blenders. Some of these windmills were placed along bird migratory routes. I’m sure you can figure out what kind of catastrophic results this combination created.

A lot has changed since the 1980s. Newer windmills have blades that move a lot more slowly, making it easier for birds to avoid them. As well, power producers now have to outline what the environmental impact of their sites will be before the turbines are approved. Today’s turbines still cause bird casualties, but less than an average of two a year. This is a fraction of the number of birds killed by flying into skyscrapers or cell phone towers.

There are still concerns when it comes to birds and wind energy. Studies have shown that birds are reluctant to go near wind-energy sites. This can be a problem if turbines are in places that are important habitat areas, especially in coastal regions because birds tend to nest in these areas. Some believe that placing the windmills farther out at sea could help protect the birds.

About the Landscape

There are people who truly believe that windmills can destroy a beautiful landscape, while others don’t. There is no right or wrong answer here as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It comes down to compromise on all sides. Just remember that wind generators produce green energy; and, leasing land to wind generators provide income to farmers who need it. You might consider new sources of clean energy as beautiful.

What do you think about Wind Energy?

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    • profile image

      Michael 7 years ago

      If the turbine doesn't produce more energy over it's lifetime than it costs to put up, it's just a waste of coal power.

    • profile image

      Marco 7 years ago

      Once that millions of wind turbines will cover every inch of the world you will probably regret your words, Stacie.

      Btw the people that are making money with the wind won't care, they will be busy counting the money they are making with our tax money.

      I see only a "good" thing: no need to travel the world any more, it will look all the same : a big wind turbine! ;-)

    • profile image

      John 7 years ago

      It doesn't seem like these turbines will every produce enough energy to pay for themselves in their lifetime. Not to mention the expense to maintain them it doesn't make any sense. Sure right away we say ok wind is free how could this be a bad thing but the cost is huge. Just because they are in Europe doesn't mean we have to do it. I don't like the look at all it take the beauty out of the landscape. I think there is better ways to spend our tax money.

    • profile image

      not important 8 years ago

      i actually work with these wind turbins, and they may produce green energy but it takes more than they are worth to build, haul, and put them up. they do cost lots of money, and it is said thay it will take them 30 years to pay themselves off, and only have a life span of 25 years. all i have to say is arent you glad you can fork up the 10 million dollar loss in taxes.

    • profile image

      celeste 8 years ago

      i think wind energy is awesome!!!!

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      My small town's claim to fame is the "Wind Energy Capital of the World." Windmills as far as the eye can see in any direction. I suspect anyone with a vested interest in our economy thinks they are just gorgeous, and they really are.

      Nice hub, Stacie.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      Great hub! I´m a wind powered energy supporter, but if I think about the way they are spreading this turbines all over my country (Portugal), I can´t agree with this decision-making. Every time I travel along Portugal I see turbines everywhere and I would prefer them to be localised in defined areas (wind farms) and not spread all over. We already have our mountains and hills almost completely clear of trees and replete of wind turbines (10 to 20 in each mountain or 5 to 10 in each hill) :-(

      Beside this I´m very happy that they are betting on this solution for the future.

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 10 years ago from DC Metro Area

      I know some people might not like the look of these wind turbines, but I happen to marvel at their beauty! If you've ever seen one in real life, some of them are H-U-G-E! I happen to love them. Of course, I don't have them sprouting up in my backyard....yet.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      The wind turbines at Mackinack Island were so huge and hypnotic with their slower moving blacdes that I just watched them for quite a long while last year.

      In Ohio, some farmers have convered to wind farms and the government pays them. The power supplements the local electric companies and the same bill is still received. Prices have not increased; don't know if they will.

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 10 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Great hub Stacie. It is good to question if this is a good thing. It is amazing how hot these kinds of debates can get. I like the idea of wind power but is it reliable and who pays for it?

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      Actually, I got into a debate with someone about it at work, so I thought I'd do some research! Perhaps you could still do it.

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 10 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Great hub Stacie. I must wonder- did this stem from my question asked the other day about energy efficiency?

      I am a big fan of renewable energy sources. In fact, an old college roommate and I were considering raising funds for a wind farm. Too bad that didn't get off the ground because these wind farms seem to be popping up everywhere.