The article below was Published July 2011 in Wind Power Monthly.
Wind power development is often affect b local opposition. It seems odd that businesses that try to bring clean energy and preserve the environment are frequently faced with disapproval from local communities. We talk about the necessary changes in our lifestyles in order to save the planet, yet when a practical solution is proposed we often seem to be against it. Why do people support clean energy in theory yet fight against wind farm development?
The answer lies in physical proximity. Most people support the initiatives of clean renewable energy as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. If you were to ask ten Americans on the street about the issue, it is likely that most would tell you they support the idea but would not want a wind farm in their backyard.
The most common criticisms of wind development include:
Traffic and noise during construction
Usually, communities fear that the construction of a wind farm would create high levels of noise and pollution. Increased traffic, especially with heavy trucks, cranes and other machinery, is another concern.
Noise from Turbines
Every single wind farm has to address the issue of noise created by its working turbines. Most people fear medical dangers associated with such noise. Various groups that oppose wind development claim that headaches, sleep disorders and even night terrors can be results of living near a wind far.
Communities faced with proposed wind farms usually have legitimate concerns about the effects on the wildlife living both above and below ground.
While some may enjoy the calm and serene views of wind turbines, many people find them unappealing. The landscape is always a big part of a community’s lifestyle. In addition, it plays into the value of one’s property. People often fear the interference with their lifestyles and property deprecation as a result of neighboring a wind farm.
The bottom line is that wind or any other renewable energy developer should educate their public. The idea of saving the planet by producing and consuming clean renewable energy seems to appeal to most people. Unfortunately, nobody wants to “sacrifice” their backyard. It is necessary to make the public understand the immeasurable benefits to the environment of developing wind energy. We need to make local communities realize that allowing a wind farm in their neighborhood is not a sacrifice, but rather a step towards a better, cleaner world.