Some environmentalists argue that wind turbines are too inefficient to compensate for the negative effects they have on environments where they are built. They kill birds, bats, and other wildlife. Opponents argue that their noise pollution and disruption of scenic views are no more than visual evidence of their “purely symbolic contribution to energy needs.”
Most environmentalists advocate for wind power, however, because of its sustainability and cleanliness.
Another negative effect of offshore wind power is the cost of construction. Constructing one wind turbine costs around $5 million per megawatt of capacity, which is significantly more expensive than a wind turbine on land (which costs between $2-2.5 million per megawatt of capacity). To make wind turbines economically viable, they must be built on a large scale. This could pose hazards to marine ecosystems, as well as shipping lanes and fishing areas.
Sadly, wind power suffers from the same problem that plagues almost any other type of industrial facility, namely: NIMBYism!
Opposition to the siting of wind plants is often based on misconceptions about the relative environmental and social impacts of different energy sources. For instance, opponents may complain that wind turbines “spoil the view” but do not object to someone else’s view being spoiled by a set of large smokestacks and cooling towers associated with a coal-fired power plant, or they may complain that wind turbines are noisy without being aware that they are actually far quieter than conventional industrial boilers such as those used in power plants. Opponents may also simply be unaware of the fact that renewable energy actually is capable of displacing massive impacts, environmental and otherwise, from nonrenewable energy.
In some cases, opposition to renewable energy may be planted by false flag operations who “astroturf” opposition by spreading false or misleading information concerning the proposed facility, when their true interest is simply in maintaining the status quo, as they may have a financial stake in the continued operation of a conventional energy generating facility.
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