Wind Energy Rant

Posted: March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

This rant is specific to wind energy. We are not focusing on the entire wind energy market, but really just want to take issue with two of the common complaints we are hearing about wind energy. I often hear two ridiculous “barriers” which are 1) the NIMBY and 2) the birds.

Not in my backyard. Really? That is why we don’t want to develop a clean energy market that has experienced significant growth, and is beginning to see some reductions in cost. Cost and effectiveness are good concerns, “having to see a wind turbine out of my window” is terrible. How about the pollution in the air in your backyard? Before I go any further, I want to  point out that there are many different and valid questions for wind energy and that NIMBY is not only a wind energy association, and they do provide good points in other aspects. Now back to the why this is ridiculous. So the defense this can be related to property rights and the value of property both quantitatively and qualitatively. I am not talking about wind farms that are within danger of a home, I can understand that. I am talking about the wind farms that are within sight but out of any physically potential danger. If you are reading this and you romanticize NIMBY please comment and let me know your thoughts. I find it to be a very poor reason to object to wind energy.

The birds. So there is controversy about wind turbines and birds because according to a study by Fish and Wildlife Service about half a million birds are killed each year by turbines. The backlash is that there is a push to limit wind farm growth and to make companies pay fines for these birds dying which of course makes it even more difficult to develop the wind energy market. Do we really want to inhibit wind energy because birds are flying into them? I am not saying it doesn’t matter, but come on. Wind energy is trying to help combat global environmental disasters and we want to sacrifice that for birds. Which by the way, a lot of birds will die if global warming truly does continue like much of science predicts it could. Birds die on power-lines all the time but we still use those. Again, hopefully we figure out a way to help prevent these birds from dying, but don’t let it be something that keeps us from developing wind energy.

There are valid concerns about wind energy and other renewable sources, but these are not some of them. There is nothing wrong with having the view that certain technologies or policies are poor solutions, but I hope that in general as a society we reserve that for some of the more significant problems. If you disagree comment and let me know why.


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