Impact on Landscape and Impact on People
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.
...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.
"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.
"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.
But I was sitting at my kitchen table in North Buffalo, far from the wind farms of the Southern Tier, and such distance makes for simple, black-and-white comprehension. There are places in Western New York where wind energy isn’t so clear a choice. Places with names like Perry, Sheldon and Arkwright, rural towns perched atop the high glacial ridges to the east and south of the city, whose landscapes might soon be dominated by hundreds of towering, 400-foot windmills. As wind companies eye their windswept fields and make overtures to local town boards, divisions run deeper and deeper between citizens who disagree on the merits of wind farm development in their backyards. In such locales, the gray areas of wind development come into sharp focus.
In a world obsessed with climate change, Humphrey Price-Jones believes wind turbines have become the crucifix of a new religion, a towering, unmistakable symbol of good intent. They feature in almost every glossy brochure and television commercial promoting clean energy ...But as wind turbines continue to grow in size and spread like triffids across the nation, turbulence is building.
It is the map of the country which lays bare for the first time the full extent of the Scottish Government's drive to convert the nation to wind power.
Scotland's familiar rugged outline is peppered with at least 535 huge wind farms - taking up an estimated three to five per cent of the total land mass of Scotland - many of them located in areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Objections are varied, ranging from concerns about the impact on the natural beauty of the islands to the potential desecration of cultural sites to the loss of access to fishing and hunting areas from such massive projects.
Both animal and human health is suffering from stray voltage that can cause catastrophic problems in the barn. But nailing down the precise causes and where the responsibility lies has proved a long and difficult struggle
Driven out of business as a result of a raft of health and behaviour problems suffered by their herd, beef producers Ross and Darlene Brindley are suing Hydro One Networks Inc. and Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) for a hefty $5 million. They claim that stray voltage from EPCOR's wind turbines not only destroyed their herd, but has also had a severe impact on their own health as well. And they are not alone.
Mike Jablonicky surveyed the barge, long as a football field, where the enormous pieces of one of Wolfe Island's wind turbine sat waiting to be unloaded on long trailer beds.
The third of 86 turbines to erected at the island's west end arrived yesterday by barge, pulled up the St. Lawrence River by tugboat from Ogdensburg, NY, where they are being shipped from Denmark.
A proposed plan for a wind farm at the western end of Brome-Missisquoi has been modified, but the community remains divided on whether it should exist at all. Several of the 300 people who packed into Bedford's community centre Monday night called for a moratorium on windmills, or a referendum. While a number complained of a lack of transparency, others commended Groupe SM International and the municipalities on their efforts to inform the population. "The support of the municipalities and the MRC will be helpful in getting the project approved by Hydro Quebec," said Arthur Fauteux, warden of the Brome-Missisquoi MRC. He said the MRC will take a final position on the windmill issue at the end of August.
To the champions of wind power, the resistance is benighted and intolerable. "In a state that prides itself on its progressive renewable standards," says Eric Callisto, chairperson of Wisconsin's Public Service Commission, "getting our wind resources stymied at the local level is not acceptable."
But to wind power critics, those restrictive local ordinances are enlightened and appropriate. Cartoonist Lynda Barry, a fixture in the Reader for years and now a Wisconsin resident, says she used to support wind power but believes its partisans have shut their eyes and ears to its victims, to people suffering physical ailments caused by living near the turbines.
The view from some windows in Boston could soon look very different.
If you face towards Baumber, near Horncastle, you could be among thousands of people who will have sight of all eight turbines proposed in a controversial wind farm scheme, if it gets the go-ahead.
A new survey shows almost everyone living in a 30km radius to the north, west and south of the site - including Boston, Sleaford, and Lincoln - would see the turbines unless another building or trees near their homes happened to impede the view. ..."The turbines are huge. The diameter of the blades is wider than a Jumbo's wings and they are nearly as high as the pillars of the Humber Bridge."
The scale of public opposition to Europe's largest onshore wind farm proposed for the Shetland mainland has been underlined after about 70 campaigners handed in a petition of more than 3600 signatures demanding the plans be scrapped. ...The signatures, representing almost 20% of Shetland's population over the age of 12, were given to Shetland Island Council convenor Sandy Cluness.
NATIONAL security could be compromised by more wind turbines in the Swaffham area, but councillors have been recommended to grant permission.
The Ministry of Defence warns the six new giant turbines would have "an unacceptable impact upon the air traffic control radar at RAF Marham and Lakenheath and also against the air defence radar at Trimingham".
But Breckland councillors could give the go-ahead on Monday for the turbines to be built on an open farmland site between the A1065 Castleacre Road and Sporle Road in Swaffham and Sporle.
Wellington City Council released the results of the submissions on Meridian's proposed industrial wind installation that is bitterly opposed by almost all of the 100 or so residents of the small community to the west of Wellington.
Of about 780 submissions received by the council, 410 were against, 380 for and there were five neutral submissions on the proposed wind farm. ...
"The residents of Wellington are not silly and are waking up to the real effects of industrial wind turbines too close to homes, and the potential for more to follow. Questions are also being asked about whether these huge investments are actually as economic or as green as they are made out to be to the general public."
Alan Bailey soaks up the unspoilt view from his sitting-room window, as the sun sets across the valley outside. He shudders as he imagines this treasured scene over Dunion Hill, near Jedburgh, scarred for ever by a row of giant wind turbines.
For Bailey, as for others in Scotland, it is a prospect that raises such intense opposition that he has devoted vast amounts of time, effort and money to fighting for the wild land surrounding his home to remain untouched.