Impact on Wildlife or Impact on Landscape
Up to 40 million acres of public lands are targeted for industrialization with renewable energy development. Among the first of these large-scale projects is Ocotillo Wind, a 12,500 acre wind project now under construction ...has left horrified residents convinced this is anything but green.
The granddaughter of General Dwight D Eisenhower, who led the allied forces to victory in the Second World War, has linked up with the National Trust for Scotland to see off a serious threat to the landscape around the castle that became his Scottish home.
A wind farm company has submitted plans to build 15 turbines on the hill that overlooks Culzean Castle, the 18th-century Robert Adam masterpiece owned by the trust on the Ayrshire coast.
Its magnificent top-floor apartment was given by its former owner to Eisenhower at the end of the war to thank the US general for the part he played in commanding Scottish troops and defeating the Nazi menace.
So you plant your feet in the gritty soil beneath the whirring monsters that seem to brush the blue sky and you feel the hot wind dancing from the south and for a long time you just stare. This is wind energy. And one day, many scientists believe, it will drive the world. Of course, not everyone has that sense of awe over the whole thing. Take rancher Bob Emick. Inside his home, which sits smack in the middle of 98 of the science fiction-looking turbines...He leans on one elbow, glances out a window and watches a rotor spin. "I guess," he said, "you just get used to them."
Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable" conservation status.
John O'Sullivan, of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, said: "We have recently heard about the sad case of the golden eagle being poisoned in Scotland, but birds of prey face additional problems trying to settle in networks of suitable habitats along their migration paths. We know little about the status of raptors in Africa, and in Asia species are poorly understood." The main threats to the birds, Mr O'Sullivan said, were habitat loss, illegal hunting, power lines, and wind farm initiatives.
After 15 months of debate, studies and public input, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors made their decision on the Ridge Line Ordinance.
The ordinance passed in a 3-2 vote.
David Anderson, Jim Campbell, and Mike Hymes voted for it while Seth White and John Absher voted against it.
Just days after a group of Tehachapi residents celebrated the collapse of a large windmill project, another group contacted 17 News about another wind project in the works.
They say the windmills will destroy the natural beauty of their neighborhood.
Each year, an estimated 2.5 billion birds are also killed inadvertently in the U.S. due to human activities. Such bird mortality includes collisions with lighted buildings and communication towers, pesticide poisoning, and free-roaming cat predation. Two million acres of bird habitat are also lost to development annually. New concerns over the potential impacts of climate change, especially among coastal, alpine, and Arctic bird species; as well as the spread of corn for biofuels which may replace vital bird habitats; and poorly placed wind farms that can kill thousands of birds are also causing serious concern. The combination of mass mortality and serious habitat loss poses a grave risk to many bird species across all regions and habitats.
In summary, there has been a great deal of discussion and very little action on the part of industry and the federal government to resolve bird and wildlife issues.
Bird populations at greatest risk include birds of prey and grassland songbirds.
...wind power has attracted an impressive array of critics. Scientists question wind power's efficiency as a consistent power source. Number crunchers point out that without subsidies, wind power is a prohibitive energy source. Biologists, birders, and hunters cite the deadly effect of these huge turbines on migrating and permanent populations of birds and bats as well as the destruction of crucial habitat in order to service the elaborate infrastructure. The technology is so new, and the pressure to create clean energy so intense, there has been little regulatory oversight of the industry nationally, and organizations traditionally thought to oppose such habitat degeneration, such as the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, have voiced their support for wind energy.
Two companies developing more than 600 megawatts of wind generation along the Texas coastline aren't daunted by threats of hurricane damage or opposition from environmentalists and powerful ranching interests, executives said Thursday. ...The Texas Public Utility Commission on Wednesday blocked a coalition of environmental groups, backed by the powerful King Ranch interests of South Texas, from intervening in a case related to the siting of a transmission line to move power from the two coastal wind farms to the Texas grid.
Two wind power projects under construction in Kenedy County, Texas will pose a threat to migratory and resident birds and bats, according to a scientific study released today by the Coastal Habitat Alliance. The two projects, both being built on private ranch land, will be the first wind farms in coastal south Texas. ...Conducted by EDM International, Inc. using methodologies developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, today's report shows that in terms of potential harm to migratory birds the wind farm sites are almost as sensitive as a national wildlife refuge established for bird protection.
"The proposed Kenedy County Wind Projects, totaling 1,200 MW, are unprecedented along the Gulf Coast and the operation of these proposed projects could result in the largest and most significant avian mortality event in the history of wind energy," says the EDM report.
Sharyland Utilities, a unit of Hunt Consolidated, is one of the companies building a web of transmission lines to bring West Texas wind power to Dallas and other big cities. ...But Sharyland has proposed stringing one of the lines across the Palo Duro Canyon. ...Under three of five basic scenarios, the line would go from rim to rim of the second-largest canyon in the country. ...The Palo Duro Canyon power line is a dramatic example of the type of friction that accompanies the siting of many transmission lines. Other utilities building the wind lines face their own community concerns.
PUC spokesman Terry Hadley said he expects most of the wind transmission lines to face opposition.
"The problem I have with wind in particular is it's being done wrong in this state. You don't rape a pristine environment in exchange for intermittent power that has to be subsidized by the taxpayer to be built and by the ratepayer in order to be maintained," said Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia County.
Iberdrola, developer of Tule Wind, successfully fought to remove significant protections in Boulevard's Community Plan during the County's General Plan Update--changes that made it easier to build massive energy projects. Supervisors approved those changes in August 2011, tossing out years of planning by Boulevard residents. Those changes appall the vast majority of those who live in this quiet rural community.
Garrett County Commissioners have opened the door to wind turbines on Allegheny Mountain ridge tops -- and they're getting slammed by local residents for it. ...The commission said it will lobby the General Assembly to approve buffer zones of land between any future wind turbines and homes.
Maryland doesn't have any wind turbines, while nearby states Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York all boast multiple wind farms.
They are billed as vast sentinels that will protect our world from climate change.
But, at the same time, these wind turbines are creating a new little climate of their own. The 196ft structures whipped up the sea mist which blankets them in this photograph.
The phenomenon is caused by the spinning 130ft blades which churn up the warm air at sea level and mix it with cooler air above at Scroby Sands, near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
"There wasn't much evidence around but I was struck by the countryside. The more we drove around on inspection the more convinced I was the turbines would have an impact.
"I went past some time later when they were under construction and I was absolutely horrified to see the towers going up. They didn't have their nacelles (hubs) or blades on at that stage but I thought ‘what have I done to these people.'"
There's an energy boom going on in the "oil patch" region of Oklahoma and Texas the likes of which has not been seen in decades. This time around, though, the prize isn't under our feet, it's in the swirling currents above our heads. A rapidly growing number of domestic and international energy companies have targeted western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle with plans for massive wind farm projects.
Nowhere is this more evident than on the sage-covered prairies of northwestern Oklahoma. Hundreds of wind turbines stretch like a giant picket fence across the landscape, towering above the game-rich high plains. At first glance it would seem to be a win-win for both the environment and society ...When it comes to energy production, however, you never get something for nothing. Case in point: as a result of this boom, one of the nation's top public land bobwhite quail hunting destinations may soon be covered with a network of roads, high-tension power lines, and wind turbines.
A recent report published by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has said large wind farms such as proposed here are not the way forward for New Zealand, the significant adverse impacts are avoidable by harnessing wind power using smaller clusters of small turbines servicing remote towns, and this will be better for the country. Unfortunately this report was published just after our hearing was completed.
The Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service thought it would be a breeze to get interested parties together earlier this month to work out some kinks in its guidelines on how to build wind turbines with minimal harm to bats and birds.