Wind Myths

Wind Energy is More Expensive than Other Forms of Energy

Recent technological advances combined with lower turbine costs have now made wind energy competitive with other sources of power generation including the unsustainable current price of natural gas. Research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects the cost of onshore wind to be fully competitive with nuclear, coal and gas generation by 2016.

A hidden cost of fossil fuels is the negative impact they have on the environment and on the health of individuals. A 2008 National Academy of Sciences study found that fossil fuel generation annually costs Americans $120 billion in health damages. Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment puts the hidden cost at $300 to $500 billion a year.

Wind Turbines Are Noisy

Virtually everything with moving parts will make some sound, and wind turbines are no exception. Well- designed wind turbines are generally quiet in operation, and compared to the noise of road traffic, trains, aircraft and construction activities, to name but a few, the noise from wind turbines is very low. Outside the nearest houses, which are at least 300 meters away, and more often further, the sound of a wind turbine generating electricity is likely to be about the same level as noise from a flowing stream about 50-100 meters away or the noise of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze.

Wind Farms Drop Property Values

Several studies, including a three year study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, conclude wind farms have very little or no impact on property values.

Wind Turbines Cause People to Get Sick

Recent reviews of scientific literature on wind turbine sound and human health have found no direct link between the sound of wind turbines and human physical health.

Wind Energy Only Exists Because of Federal Subsidies

The wind industry does receive Federal incentives as does every other energy source. Through permanent measures in the tax code, fossil fuels have been subsidized for more than 90 years. A recent study states wind energy has received less support from the Federal government than any other emerging energy source including gas, oil, coal and nuclear.

Wind Turbines Kill a Large Percentage of Birds

Current studies indicate that modern wind farms have relatively little impact on bird populations. While birds do collide with wind turbines at some sites, modern wind farms are collectively far less harmful to birds as compared to other anthropogenic factors such as buildings, power lines, automobiles, communication towers and fossil-fueled power stations.

The National Academy of Science (NAS) estimated that wind energy is responsible for less than 0.003% (3 of every 100,000) bird deaths caused by human (and feline) activities (NAS 2007). Similarly, a study published in Birding Magazine in 2011 estimated that about 100,000 birds are killed by wind turbines every year and concluded “this number of fatalities does not appear to be causing significant impacts to populations of species involved” and points out that communications towers “cumulatively may kill 40-500 times more birds than do wind turbines…” Nationally, wind turbines are estimated to be responsible for 0.01% to 0.02% of all avian fatalities resulting from collision with anthropogenic structures.