Issued on September 1, 1998 by The Initiative Group and signed by more than 100 German University professors, the Darmstadt Manifesto On the Exploitation of Wind Energy in Germany demands the withdrawal of all direct and indirect subsidies in order to put a stop to the exploitation of wind energy. The manifesto claims that the exploitation of wind energy promotes the type of technology which is of no significance whatever for the purpose of supplying energy, saving resources and protecting the climate. The money could be put to far more effective use in increasing the efficiency of power stations, in ensuring effective energy consumption and in funding scientific research into fundamental principles in the field of energy. The Darmstadt Manifesto is directed in particular at politicians, environmental organisations and the media.
"Developers and owners of wind turbines have a duty to ensure the safety of the general public and their own staff. However, there are currently no guidelines for dealing with potential dangers arising from ice thrown off wind turbines. This puts developers, owners, planning authorities and insurers in a difficult position. To rectify this situation, the work presented here has commenced in order to produce an authoritative set of guidelines. Initial work has resulted in the development of a risk assessment methodology which has been used to demonstrate that the risk of being struck by ice thrown from a turbine is diminishingly small at distances greater than approximately 250 m from the turbine in a climate where moderate icing occurs."
Climate changes such as global warming may be due to changes in the sun rather than to the release of greenhouse gases on Earth.
The Sacred Hills, by Don Coldsmith, a Bantam Books paperback, copyright 1998. Courtesy Protect The Flint Hills website. For whatever reason, perhaps because we feel closer to the divine or perhaps from a hill we can see farther and with greater clarity, human beings of all cultures seem spiritually drawn to high places. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,” sang the psalmist: for Looks Far that statement was literally true. It was from a hilltop that the bison stampede both destroyed his enemies and provided winter food for his tribe. More important, it was the Sacred Hills that brought together, for the first time, two warring tribes; love for land proved stronger than human animosities. The Flint Hills were indeed a holy place for the People.
In this policy analysis, Dr. Robert Bradley presents a critical review of the U.S. wind industry, its near destruction in the 1990s and its revival with the help of State RPS programs and Enron. A portion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed at the links on this page.
Site of a portion of the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in 1997, five years before the start of construction. This is a digital color infrared photograph, which explains the odd coloration. The red areas are the conifer tree species (spruce, pine and hemlock) which are highly reflective of infrared light. The photo was taken during the winter so the brown areas depict the bare deciduous forest, mostly northern hardwoods — maple, birch, cherry, and northern red oak. The green bar at lower left is a 100m [328 foot] scale. This study area was chosen to compare before and after conditions, illustrating the impact of this type of development. Jon Boone's Comments regarding Mountaineer (WV) Before (this image), Mountaineer (WV) After (1), and Mountaineer (WV) After (2). The first two images (i.e. Before and After 1) show the extensive forest-interior habitat that existed before the windplant was constructed and the resulting impacts following construction in late 2002. The third image (i.e. After 2) shows the southern half of the windplant (about 22 turbines) and identifies the boundaries of the study area for the pre- vs. post-construction analysis. It also shows that the study area I chose was fairly representative of the existing habitat conditions at this windplant and gives a better view of the magnitude of the development’s impacts on forest and especially forest-interior habitat. [Forest interior is the type of habitat that exists at more than 100 meters from a clearing. Forest interior is required for the survival of certain species and is the type of habitat most easily destroyed by any form of development.] On the portion of the site that I analyzed, the construction of this wind factory cleared over 42 acres of forest for the string of eight turbines (out of 44) that I analyzed. The extensive fragmentation of habitat resulting from the 50-ft-wide service road and the 5+ acres (average) that were bulldozed to erect each turbine caused the loss of over 150 acres of forest-interior conditions within this once-contiguous forest tract. My estimate is that a complete analysis of the entire project area, including 5.5 miles of ridgetop and 44 turbines, would find a total of nearly 200 acres of forest were cleared and over 750 acres of forest-interior habitat was lost following construction of the Mountaineer wind energy facility.
But the most eyebrow raising turn of events took place in June when King's conservation commissioner, Ronald Lovaglio, replaced LURC staffers who gave Kenetech's project a negative review. They had pointed out that the potential impact on the fragile mountainous soils and endangered birds were serious project flaws. Following the staff replacements, another LURC employee resigned, protesting against heavy-handed tactics.
The document critically reviews the adverse effects of community noise, including interference with communication, noise-induced hearing loss, annoyance responses, and effects on sleep, the cardiovascular and psychophysiological systems, performance, productivity, and social behavior. Noise measures or indices based only on energy summation are not enough for the characterization of most noise environments. This is particularly true when concerned with health assessment and predictions. It is equally important to measure and display the maximum values of the noise fluctuations, preferably combined with a measure of the number of noise events, and to assess whether the noise includes a large proportion of low frequency components.
Although the nation's wind potential is very large, only part of it can be exploited economically. The economic viability of wind power will vary from utility to utility. Important factors not addressed in this study that influence land availability and wind electric potential include production/demand match (seasonal and daily), transmission and access constraints, public acceptance, and other technological and institutional constraints. Editor's Note: Though dated, this is a worthwhile read if read carefully.
Cement manufacturing is the third largest cause of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. While fossil fuel combustion and deforestation each produce significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2), cement-making is responsible for approximately 2.5% of total worldwide emissions from industrial sources (energy plus manufacturing sectors).
The commission unanimously voted down the proposal after a five-hour hearing attended by more than 150 people at Santa Clarita City Hall. Zond Systems, the largest producer of wind energy in California, had hoped to erect more than 300 windmills--some as tall as 150 feet--on vacant, mountainous land near Gorman.
This paper, presented at the Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco by N.D. Kelley, a physicist at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado validates the fact that turbines (both upwind and downwind) produce low-frequency sound emissions that can negatively impact humans within their homes. Although modern wind turbines are different from those studied in 1987, the research is significant in that it demonstrates the need to test for low-frequency sound emissions and to do so inside buildings.
This status report released by the California Energy Commission discusses the status of the technology, current and proposed development, regulatory processes, issues hindering development, and recommended actions needed to resolve identified issues. The section of the report on Noise and Aesthetics is provided below. Audible and low frequency impulse noise were reported as problems with the turbines. The full report can be accessed from the links on this page.
This report summarizes extensive research by staff of the Solar Energy Research Institute and its subcontractors conducted to establish the or1g1n and possible amelioration of acoustic disturbances associated with the operation of the DOE/NASA MOD-1 wind turbine installed near Boone, North Carolina. Results have shown that the most probable source of this acoustic annoyance was the transient, 'unsteady aerodynamic lift imparted to the turbine blades as they passed through the lee wakes of the large, cylindrical tower supports. Nearby residents were annoyed by the low-frequency, acoustic impulses propagated into the structures in which the complainants lived. The situation was aggravated further by a complex sound propagation process controlled by terrain and atmospheric focusing. Several techniques for reducing the abrupt, unsteady blade load transients were researched and are discussed.
This case, before the New Jersey Superior Court, represents one of the first instances of a nuisance case brought against an operating wind turbine due to noise. The court found that the defendants' wind turbine constituted an "actionable nuisance".
environmental pressure groups adamantly oppose fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants. Renewable energy – from wind turbines, or little solar panels on huts – is the future for Third World countries, they insist. Their prescription is totally inadequate for any modern society, India’s Barun Mitra points out. It would also mean sacrificing hundreds of thousands of acres of scenic and wildlife lands to gargantuan windmills that slice and dice birds and bats by the thousands.