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Downside of wind energy  

Author:  | Aesthetics, Germany, Noise

Wind power necessitates new high-voltage lines

An increasingly common sight in the North of Germany: wind turbines wherever you look. And the turbines themselves are not the only things that detract from the landscape; the associated transmission infrastructure can be unsightly too.

Wind turbines detract from the visual quality of the landscapes

Whether or not a particular location is a pleasant place to live depends on air quality, the level of noise pollution, and, to a very large extent, the visual quality of the landscape. Wind turbines and the high-voltage lines that go with them detract considerably from the appearance of landscapes. And unlike large-scale power stations, wind turbines are typically located right in the middle of areas with a high recreational value. They are commonly the only obvious human intrusions on otherwise pristine-looking landscapes. Not surprisingly, opposition to the continued development of wind power is steadily mounting among local communities.

Creators of unwelcome noise and shadows

Wind turbines emit noise: the whistling of the wind through the rotor blades and the mechanical hum of the gearbox and generator. Also, depending on the position of the sun, they throw shadows and create flickering effects, further impairing the visual quality of landscapes, particularly when the sun is low in the sky and the moving shadows are cast through the windows of nearby houses. As a result of these unwanted side-effects, German law now stipulates minimum clearances between new turbine developments and residential areas.

Go to: “The downside of wind energy”

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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