Is Wind A Pollution Free Energy Source?

Is wind a pollution free energy source? Wind is a completely pollution free energy source that emits nothing toxic into the air or water, so there are many environmental benefits. Noise pollution is less of a problem than it used to be, but occasionally a bird flies into a wind tower.

The biggest environmental concern with wind energy is whether the blades are going to kill birds or not. That is actually a problem in one large site in California that was built in the 1980s, and it was built before developers were really aware of what a problem it could be. They built this plant in the Altamonte Pass that has turned out to be a problem and it was a learning experience for the wind industry. But since then, the developers have had to go through a lot of wildlife studies and processes before they site the plant. So, if the plant is sited properly then, the bird kills do not tend to be a problem. The birds still are going to run into the towers to some extent, but it is on the range of about one or two birds per tower per year and these are the birds that are not raptors or predators. They're the smaller birds that are not endangered. So, that is the thing that usually comes to peoples' minds with respect to the environment, but it does not tend to be a real problem. There is also a question of habitat disruption and that is something that they are looking into and does not seem to be a problem in Europe in most places, but it's something to be aware of. People also are aware of the visual aspect of wind turbines, obviously, and that kind of depends on your point of view. They are big and they are usually visible depending on whether people live around them. One that I visited in West Texas nobody really can see because they are in the middle of nowhere. If we put them near people, they are definitely visible and there is also the question of lighting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA requires certain amount of lighting on the towers, which makes them more visible at night. The noise question is something that also comes up. Noise used to be a problem in the earlier generations of wind energy technology, but today if you stand right under one, you can hear mechanical noise, but if you stand a little bit farther than that probably 20 yards away, the wind is usually louder in your ears than the sound of the turbines. So, that, I feel is also something to take into consideration. But it creates no emissions in the air or in the water.

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