Published On: Fri, Dec 1st, 2023

Myths and Facts About Wind Turbines

The wind turbine looks set to be an important technology for the coming century, in which human beings make a break from fossil fuels and embrace renewable sources of power. 

Wind power is not without its problems. However, some of the criticism levied at the technology is at best misguided, and at worse, outright malicious. Let’s see if we can address some of the myths and misconceptions. 

Imagine de Free-Photos de la Pixabay

Myth: Wind Turbines Affect Human Health

You might have heard that vibrations generated by wind turbines can induce illness in people in the surrounding area. Specifically, you might hear complaints about ‘infrasound’ – that is, the vibrations of a frequency lower than we can hear. There’s no evidence to suggest that wind turbines produce a harmful level of infrasound. Even if you live just a few hundred meters from a turbine, the chances are good that your fridge produces more vibrations. You can perform this experiment yourself with the help of vibration sensors.

Myth: Wind Energy is Unreliable

You can only generate wind energy when the wind is blowing. With that said, we’re now better able to manage this inconsistency than ever before. Thanks to a combination of grid management and energy storage, it’s possible to flatten out the peaks and valleys such that the wind can contribute to the grid, just like any other source of power.

Myth: Wind Turbines Have a Negative Impact on Property Values

You might suppose that the proximity of a big ugly turbine on the horizon might drive down the value of your property. But this has yet to be clearly demonstrated. Some people actually like the look of them. What’s more, the economic advantages brought by local wind power tend to drive house prices upward, rather than downward.

Myth: Wind Turbines Harm Wildlife

It is undeniable that, occasionally, a wind turbine will kill a bird. There are a few things to mention here, however. First, the use of a wind turbine may help us to protect birds by saving us from emitting harmful greenhouse gases. Second, there are reliable ways to discourage birds from venturing near a turbine – not least of which is installing them away from locations where birds fly. 

Third, it’s important to put things into perspective. The Smithsonian estimates that hundreds of millions of birds are killed every year by flying into glass windows

Myth: Wind Energy Production Requires Excessive Land Use

When it comes to the use of land, wind obviously requires more of it than other forms of power. Or does it? The turbines themselves often have a very small footprint. We can still build things and plant crops beneath the blades themselves, remember? Consequently, wind power can form part of an extremely efficient overall use of land.

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