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330–480 feet high

Blades sweeping Wind 410 feet
1–2 acres vertical area, Watch ®

tip speed 150–200 mph (

Industrial Wind Energy
Dead birds and bats Opposition

( 305 feet
Disturbed ground animals
◆ Stop Ill Wind
Noise and vibration (
◆ tower = 80 meters
rotor diam. = 90 meters
Hundreds of tons of concrete sweep area = 1.57 acres

and steel in each foundation

Roads and transmission lines

Disrupted water flow

Haystack and Jay Peak, Vermont. Used by permission.

Fragmented wildlife habitat

Shadow flicker
to destroying

Strobe lights day and night

the environment
◆ and our
Visual intrusion and distraction
◆ communities
Degradation of social and
natural environments

Misplaced public funds NO

Unproven benefits INDUSTRIAL

Unreliable contracts !WIND!

copyright © 2006 National Wind Watch, Inc.
Low Benefit — Large-scale wind power does not reduce wind turbines has to be shunted to pumped
our dependence on other fuels, does not hydro facilities in Norway and Sweden.
Huge Negative Impact stabilize prices, does not reduce emissions
Yet wind energy is profitable. Taxpayers
or pollution, and does not mitigate global
cover two-thirds to three-fourths of the cost
Industrial wind promoters claim their ma- of erecting giant wind turbines. Govern-
chines produce on average 30–40% of their Instead, each turbine assembly requires ments require utilities to buy the energy,
rated capacity. For example, a 400-ft-high dozens of acres of clearance and dominates even though it does not effectively displace
2-megawatt (2,000-kilowatt) turbine as- the typically rural or wild landscape where other sources.
sembly would produce an average of 600– it is sited. Its extreme height, turning rotor
In addition, wind companies can sell “re-
800 kilowatts over a year. blades, unavoidable noise and vibration,
newable energy credits,” or “green tags,” an
and strobe lighting night and day ensure an
The actual experience of industrial wind invention of Enron. They are thus able to
intrusiveness far out of proportion to its
power in the U.S., however, as reported to sell the same energy twice.
elusive contribution.
the federal Energy Information Agency, is
The companies generally cut the local utili-
that it produces only about 25% of its ca- Each facility requires new transmission in-
ties in on some of the easy profits.
pacity, or 500 kilowatts. frastructure and new or upgraded (strength-
ened, widened, and straightened) roads,
It will produce at or above that average rate Why do communities support them?
further degrading the environment and
only a third of the time. It will generate
fragmenting habitats. Developers typically target poor commu-
nothing at all (yet draw power from the
nities and make deals with individual
grid) another third of the time.
Why do utilities support them? landowners and the town boards (which are
Because the output is highly variable very often the same people) long before
Given a choice, most utilities choose to
and rarely correlates with demand, other anything is made public.
avoid such an unreliable nondispatchable
sources of energy cannot be taken off line.
source. In many states, they are required to With the prospect of adding substantially to
With the extra burden of balancing the
get a certain percentage of their energy the tax rolls and/or hundreds of thousands
wind energy, those sources may even use
from renewable sources. In other states, of dollars in payoffs each year, it is under-
more fuel (just as cars use more gas in stop-
they anticipate being required to do so in standable that a lot of people are reluctant
and-go city driving than in more steady
the near future. These requirements do not to consider the negative impacts. They are
highway driving).
require utilities to show any benefit (e.g., in willing to ignore the effects of such large
The industry is unable to show any evi- terms of emissions) from using renew- machines on themselves and their neigh-
dence that wind power on the grid reduces ables—they just need to have them on line. bors. Excited by the financial promises of
the use of other fuels. the wind companies, they forget that their
In Japan, many utilities limit the amount of
giant machines will destroy precisely what
Denmark, despite claims that wind turbines wind power that they will accept. In Ger-
makes their community livable.
produce 20% of its electricity, has not re- many, the grid managers frequently shut
duced its use of other fuels because of down the wind turbines to keep the system
them. stable. In Denmark, most of the energy from As people find out more, support for
the harmful boondoggle evaporates.