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Wind Power – Fairy Tales and Reality

Wind power is being used since hundred of years, is absolutely freely available and causes no pollution. But there is one big question. Why does wind energy still only contributes for as little as approximately 1% of the worlds total energy requirements? We have very clear answers when we only look a little deeper into this issue: Early experiences with wind power have created unfounded opinions which continue to be making the round and seem not to go away.

Misconceptions have not changed even though that we can confidently say that technology has undergone profound changes since the early days of the first wind turbines…

Fairy tale: The life stock of birds is harmed by wind turbines. This is a commonly known fairy tale for which there is absolutely no proof to support this claim at this particular moment. It is known that more birds are killed by cars, multi-storey and high rise buildings or by other human activity than by any of the currently known wind turbine technologies. In fact, cats are known to kill more birds than windmills do
It has also been reported that that large scale wind farms affect the migration structures of birds. Environmental surveys are regularly carried out in the US in densely populated wild life bird areas where installations of wind powered turbines are principally strictly restricted.

Fairy tale: Windmills generate high noise levels
Probably thirty years ago, we could say that this was the case but it is definitely not true today. Technical evolution and current application techniques have made windmills to become near silent. Noise generated by mechanical motion can hardly be noticed nearby a windmill and only the smooth sound of air breathing through the turbine rotor blades can be heard. By fact, a modern, well build wind turbine at a distance of a approximately 40 meters is no noisier than a combination boiler working in your utilities room.

Fairy tale: Valuable forest areas are destroyed by windmills
Strict regulations on environmental issues such as this prevent this to happen. Windmill assemblies and groups are most of the time installed on existing terrain and in most cases, are installed on privatised land or land unfit for farming.

Fairy tale: Wind Power Systems are not economical

The costs of operating wind turbines had been driven down by modern technology year on year and are becoming less expensive while production volumes increase. The latest gaming consoles have undergone the same technological evolution and can be compared to the advances achieved in wind mill and wind turbine technology. Also, as production volume increases, the cost to purchase a single unit becomes less as more units had been produced by the manufacturer.

Fairy tale: Nearby wind farms depress the value of your property
Wind farms are situated most of the times, in areas for development where they are actually adding to property values.

Drawback: Occasionally, power generation can be intermittent. This is true is usually not causing any problem when the windmills are connected to the local power grid. This is more than often the case.
Undoubtedly, the benefits: “Green” jobs are being created by cost efficient windmills and are paying well and where they are required the most – in underdeveloped parts of the country. By far the biggest benefit is that dependence on higher polluting sources such as coal or nuclear energy is being reduced.