Environmental impact of wind turbines

When talking about renewable energy you initially think about the benefits, but like everything, it has some negative impacts.

The most noticeable impact is the noise pollution, almost everyone thinks wind turbines are great and more and more should be placed. But when someone suggest to put one inside a close radius around your house, all of the sudden it’s a terrible idea.

Next to the noise pollution there’s also the visual impact, a lot of people complain about the view of a wind turbine and the shading it may cast.

The third significant impact is wildlife. Birds can get hit by the blades and due to the deep foundations, underground habitats can be destroyed.

Lots of plans of building wind energy parks are put on hold or get declined due to complaints of  nearby citizens. The energy companies have even started to pay a bonus if you live nearby a windmill. (Electrabel pays bonus)

What is your take on having a windturbine nearby, do you agree with the decision to cancel plans when the neighbourhood complains and would you change your mind if living near one means receiving an anual bonus?



2 thoughts on “Environmental impact of wind turbines

  1. woutcordeel says:

    Where I live there were a lot of complaints in the past about the location of new turbines. Like you said, everybody thought it was a great idea, unless it was near their home. The local board of my village then decided to locate them in the industry zone, near the freeway, which in my opinion was a great idea.

    If the company wants to reduce the complaints, a bonus is a relatively inexpensive thing they can do to compensate. Without these complaints in the past, Electrabel probably would not have done this, so it is a good thing.

  2. gabuglio says:

    I think this post show that there isn’t or there will never be 1 ultimate, perfect solution.
    Electrabel tries to avoid complaints about the noise with a bonus. This is a feasible and good solution because, like you can read in the article, there are people who doesn’t care about the noise and are willing to accept the bonus. Myself find the bonus to low because I think the life quality goes down a lot.
    A good solution, like Wout says, is to build them near freeways of in industry zone where there are no houses.
    An issue is the destruction of underground habitat. It is maybe rough to say but that is a secondary trouble because there will always be someone who is complaining.
    The priority must be to satisfy the majority of the population and afterwards think about the rest.

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