3 Myths About Wind Energy and Modern Wind Farms
Wind energy is one of the most efficient and sustainable sources of renewable power generation. However, the widespread development and adoption of wind farms has been somewhat hampered by a number of myths about the drawbacks of wind energy.
Below, we discuss and debunk three of the most common untrue myths about modern wind turbine technology.
Myth #1: Wind Energy Isn’t Reliable
Due to the unpredictable and inconsistent nature of the weather, wind farms are often met with the false reputation of being unreliable. In fact, no method of power generation is 100% reliable, requiring the use of backup systems and redundancies. Wind farms fit perfectly into this paradigm, generating highly efficient electricity for the grid when possible then falling back on other power generation methods when necessary.
The fact that wind farms cannot provide 100% of the electricity for most locales does not make them unreliable – it simply means their integration within the power grid must be carefully planned out and calculated. When properly integrated, wind farms can substantially cut down on electricity costs for customers and add to the overall reliability of the grid.
Myth #2: Wind Turbines Are Disruptive to Bird Wildlife Populations
The effect of wind farms on wild bird populations has been an understandable concern for environmentalists, and thus an ongoing area of study. Luckily, it seems the initial concern was far overblown. Bird deaths resulting from wind turbines are found to not significantly exceed accidental deaths due to other structures like tall buildings and radio towers. Furthermore, the general development and installation of wind farm systems has an extremely low impact of less than 1 of 30,000 population members.
To put the issue into perspective, wind farms have a much lower impact on wild bird populations than the widespread introduction of house cats as pets. Comparatively, air and water pollution from fossil fuels causes significantly more environmental damage than sustainable wind farm operations.
Myth #3: Wind Turbines Are Noisy, Creating a Nuisance for Homeowners
Wind turbines have the undeserved reputation for being extremely noisy, creating a nuisance for homeowners in the general vicinity. This is simply not true with modern turbine systems.
In standard testing, it has been demonstrated that the noise generated by an average wind farm at a distance of 500 yards away is quieter than an average car driving past a home at 40 miles per hour. In other words, the sound from wind farms is generally below the levels of everyday suburban life. At a distance of a mile or more, the noise from a wind farm generally cannot even be heard in a quiet rural bedroom.
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