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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Wind Power - Bad for the environment?

An article I read recently highlighted a number of aspects regarding the problems associated with increasing the number of wind turbines to generate electricity. Chief among these is, I would say, that they are unreliable. Most of the time they are producing plenty of electricity, nobody wants it - so it just gets 'shed' into the system and isn't used. Add to that the fact we are all paying a premium in tax and the cost of all other forms of electricity generation, to subsidise these massively expensive and unsightly monsters, and you start to understand the growing opposition to them.

Here in Germany the Greens are now demanding that Hessen 'relax' its Planning laws to allow the construction of these useless and expensive monstrosities in protected beauty spots and within 1,000 metres of houses. I suspect this could cost them an election in the not too distant future - especially as those advocating these changes are not living anywhere they will be affected by them! From an Australian campaigner to put a stop to this waste -

Wind power harms the environment. Because of the large area of land needed to collect low-density wind energy, wind power requires more land-clearing, needs more transmission lines, kills more wildlife, lights more bushfires and uglifies more landscape per unit of electricity than conventional power. And the subsonic whine of the turbines drives neighbours batty and devalues local properties. 

Recent studies have demonstrated that the turbulence they cause downwind upsets birds in flight, and I can vouch for the fact the migrating birds make large detours to avoid them. The turbulence also adversely affects the performance of the turbines downwind from the first, with the reduction in efficiency increasing with each subsequent turbine. The impact on birds is, according to Danish ornithologists, dramatic. But none of this seems to be taken on board by the promoters of the 'lets have more windmills' lobby.

I can't help wondering how long it will be before the 'ecologists' start campaigning to 'protect' the 'environment' from further wind turbine erection on the grounds the subsonic whine is disturbing the mating of the lesser midget slug or some other equally unknown creature. It would never occur to them, of course, that the whine of the generator and the chopped up birds might be blighting the lives of the people who have to live next to the damned things.

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