Wind energy in one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy. It’s sustainable, helps to create jobs, and is a source of clean fuel. While the wind energy is increasing, there are still a lot of barriers that are hindering the growth of this industry. People who deny climate change, or have a general misunderstanding of wind energy, are spreading a lot of false information. Here are few of the more commonly held myths associated with wind energy.
Wind Energy is Inexpensive
Because wind is everywhere, it seems like it would be a cheap source of energy. Unfortunately, wind energy requires a very costly initial investment. It costs around a million dollars per megawatt to build large wind turbines. While this isn’t any more expensive than building coal-fired power plants, the issues come down to generating energy. The wind is not constantly blowing. Wind turbines tend to produce energy about 30 percent of the time. Because of this, it takes a long time to recoup the costs of building a turbine. Over time, it is believed that the costs of building and maintaining wind turbines come closer to the costs of coal-fired power plants.
Wind Farms are Harmful to Birds
To say that wind farms can’t hurt birds is untrue. However, amount of harm caused by wind turbines is much less than what gets stated. In their early phases, wind farms were not placed in good areas and had a poor design. Over time, changes were made to the turbines to ensure that they cause less harm to wildlife. Also, a lot more consideration is given to the placement of wind farms. The number of birds killed by wind farms is less than that caused by cars, cats, and buildings.
Wind Energy is an Inefficient Energy Source
This is another misconception about wind energy. Yes, wind turbines do not extract all of the energy from the wind. However, there is no method of producing energy that is 100% efficient. There are several factors to take into consideration when talking about the efficiency of wind energy. The first factor is the fact that there is no cost to this fuel. Second, wind turbines rarely break and don’t require that much maintenance and are in operation 99% of the time. The turbines generate 30% of their maximum output or load factor. The load factor of traditional power stations is about 50%.
Wind Turbines Produce a lot of Noise Pollution
This myth finds its origins in a sole wind turbine that was constructed in 1978. This turbine generated low-frequency sound waves that cause some residents of Boone, N.C. to become ill. Modern turbines are designed in a way where the mechanical noise is greatly reduced. Also, most wind farms are located at least 300 meters from any homes. At this distance, the turbines are about as loud a refrigerator.
Wind Farms Affect Home Values
Many people believe that living near a wind farm will impact their property values. There have been several studies on the effects of wind turbines on property values. These studies were conducted in Europe and the United States. As of now, no studies that support the claim that wind farms lower property values.
Wind Farms Pose A Health Risk
Some people living near wind farms have stated that they have experienced health issues. However, there is no scientific evidence saying that wind farms are harmful. In fact, many of the people reporting wind turbine-related health issues are suffering from something called wind farm syndrome. Essentially, the health issues they believe they are experiencing is in their mind. Scare tactics and a lack of credible information is helping to fuel the fears of people.
Wind energy has a lot of environmental benefits. While the concept of wind energy is not new, it’s still an emerging energy source. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths circulating about wind energy. Hopefully, by dispelling some of these myths, the general public can gain a greater understanding of this renewable energy source.
Kylie is the editor at . She enjoys the outdoors, especially when she can go on a fun hike or adventure. She likes to focus on the perks green living. She feels it is so important to take care of our earth and hope to spread more awareness as she edits and writes.