Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
This chapter provides guidelines for the marking and lighting of wind turbine farms. For the purposes of this advisory circular, wind turbine farms are defined as a wind turbine development that contains more than three (3) turbines of heights over 200 feet above ground level. The recommended marking and lighting of these structures is intended to provide day and night conspicuity and to assist pilots in identifying and avoiding these obstacles.
The latest annual energy forecast issued by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
indicates that, by the year 2030, wind energy would supply less than 1% of US electric
generation and about 4/10 of 1% of total US energy consumption.
This forecast, which likely overstates the potential contribution of wind energy, helps show that officials of the wind industry and US Department of Energy are misleading the public, media and government officials with their claims that wind might supply 20% of US electricity.
The implementation of consistent statewide standards to achieve the timely and cost-effective installation of small wind energy systems is a matter of statewide concern. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section apply to all local agencies, including, but not limited to, towns, cities and counties.
Editor's Note: This small wind zoning statute, drafted by Paul Gay (Westport, MA) is currently in joint committee in the MA state legislature. The author describes himself as a proponent of small wind with an interest in promoting regulations that are drafted in such a way as to insure a properly
functioning system while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the
As interest in wind energy spreads throughout the Commonwealth, it becomes clear that there is a need within the cities and towns of Massachusetts for suitable zoning by-laws that accommodate wind projects. To help address this need, the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs developed this Model Amendment to a Zoning Ordinance or By-Law to assist cities and towns in establishing reasonable standards for wind power development. The by-law is developed as a model and not intended for adoption without review by municipal counsel:
Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in
pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking
havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen.
Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina
Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000
wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm..
.You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other
technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments
solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to
be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive,
otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential
negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental
history or grid operations.
Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the
renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and
public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial
wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting
emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly
increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable
power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish
for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to
be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could
otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts
from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened
This paper examines Vermont Public Interest Research Group’s (VPIRG) assertion that by 2015 industrial wind turbines on 8.8% (or 46 miles) of Vermont’s ridgelines above 2500 feet could provide 20% of Vermont’s electricity needs. (1) The examination compares VPIRG’s proposal- which is predicated on Vermont’s average electricity consumption- with the utility industry’s standard for measuring wind energy’s contribution to system reliability and peak demand. i.e. its capacity credit. This measurement concludes that for wind energy to provide the reliable generating capacity to meet 20% of Vermont’s peak demand industrial wind turbines would require 44% - 88% (or 226-451 miles) of Vermont’s ridgeline above 2500’.
Editor's Note This is an opinion piece located in IWA's resource library as it was submitted in pdf. form.