August 28, 2010

Wind power finds two powerful foes

UPI, 27 August 2010

The push for greener energy sources has run into a sizable roadblock with U.S. aviation experts opposing wind turbine construction, a trade group said.

The American Wind Energy Association said a survey of its members found scores of projects in 2009 ran into interference from the U.S. Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration, despite a push from the U.S. Energy Department to produce energy from renewable sources, The New York Times reported Friday.

Wind turbines, some of them 400 feet tall, reportedly confuse air traffic controllers, as they resemble storms on weather radar systems. They can also cause planes in some spaces to drop off radar screens entirely, the Times reported.

Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense recently testified that wind turbines create a high risk for planes and compromise national security.

Gary Seifert, a researcher with the Energy Department, called the collision course between Defense Department interests and energy needs “the train wreck of the 2000s.”

“The train wreck is the competing resources for two national needs: energy security and national security,” he said.

The wind energy group said the Defense Department and the FAA stalled or stopped 9,000 megawatts worth of projects in 2009, equal to the amount of wind energy projects constructed during the year.

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