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Disadvantages of Wind Power – A Rebuttal as the Selfish Delay Wind Farms to Death

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Wind Power

Wind Power has come under attack in the USA focused around the Cape Wind Project off the eastern shore. The project which was conceived over 10 years ago has not managed to still build the Wind Farm due to countless number of lawsuits filed for myriad reasons most of which are quite groundless. However some of the reasons have some solid facts behind the opposition to Wind Energy. Note Wind Energy unlike other forms of fossil fuel energy should have much  less opposition however it is not so. Unlike Coal, Gas and Oil Energy it does not lead to increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and contribute to pollution. It does not lead to deaths of hundreds of miners each year nor has the danger of a catastrophic nuclear meltdown leading to death and disability of thousands. It also does not have the drawback of  massive ocean pollution leading to an ecological disaster. However there are still protests against building of Wind Power Capacity and this article examines them in details. At the outset let me mention that advantages of Wind Power far outweighs the Disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Wind Power

1) Higher Costs that Fossil Energy Forms – This is the biggest disadvantage cited by anti-Wind Power activists despite the massive decline in costs that Wind Power has seen over the last 2 decades. Note Wind Energy has now reached the costs of Gas Energy but is still higher than Dirty Coal and Nuclear Energy (the older plants). However these costs don’t take into account the massive health costs and environmental degradation that results from these forms of energy. Coal Energy directly causes hundred of deaths, leads to mercury poisoning,causes health problems etc. But these costs are not accounted for but the society bears them all the same.

2) Initial Capital Investment is High – A Modern Wind Farm costs around $1.5 million to be spent in building 1 Megawatt. This is said to be too high,however this again is one of the silliest arguments. The costs of energy can only be compared by Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) which calculates the cost of energy over the lifetime calculating the capex, fuel costs, maintenance, security and insurance costs. We have already talked about Wind Costs falling over time. Nowadays the costs of WTGs have become even lower with the entry of low cost Chinese companies.

3) Loss of Scenery – The sight of giant 200 meters tall towers has drawn objections from neighbors about wind power leading to loss of scenery and beauty. The Cape Wind Energy project off the shore of Massachusetts has been delayed by over 10 years as it has drawn serious objections from the owners of coastal homes about loss in their property values. A major land owner has also protested against the building of high powered transmission lines to move power. Another stupid and self servicing argument of the rich. The massive damage caused by the BP Oil Spill, the Chernobyl Oil Disaster, the ugliness of Coal Mines is a much bigger damager of the environment and scenery that a Wind Turbine or a Power Transmission Line can ever be.

4) Wildlife Effects and Killing of Birds – Wind Turbines are known to result in killing of Birds as the massive Blades rotate. However modern Wind Turbines have made even this problem go away. The argument is quite silly when thousands of people were killed in Chernobyl, hundreds are killed in Mining etc.

5) Intermittent Nature – Wind Power is intermittent in nature as it generates energy only when the wind blows. This problem can be solved with energy storage however this leads to additional costs. This argument also does not make sense for a US DOE study indicated that solar and wind intermittent power won’t be a problem till 30-40% of the electricity in the US is from these 2 forms of renewable  energy. Smart Grids and Cheaper Energy Storage in the future should allow even higher penetrations of Wind and Solar Power possible.

6) Low Persistent Noise Level – Wind Power causes persistent level of low level noise from the whirring of the blades of a wind turbine. There have been cases reported about animals on farms getting affected by wind turbine noise. However there have been no long term health effect on humans or animals that have been documented till now. Also the health hazards from fossil fuel energy are much higher. It is just that is does not directly manifest itself so people don’t protest.

7) Cannot be Built Anywhere – This disadvantage of Wind Energy is present with other forms of Energy as well. Some forms of Energy are just better suited to some places. For example you can’t build a nuclear plant on top of an earthquake prone region, you can not build a solar farm in the Arctic etc. Wind Farms are suitable for location receiving a high degree of Wind.


Wind Power has some disadvantages just like almost everything in the world but technology has made most of the disadvantages moot. There are still objections being raised but they are mostly be selfish people who don’t want minor inconveniences in the larger interest of the society and the world. Objections by top leaders and hedge fund managers fall mostly in this category. These people can delay a project to death by simply hiring expensive armies of lawyers who can keep the cases in court for a very long time.

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  2. Soaring Coal Prices Increasing Global Electricity Rates making Green Energy more Lucrative
  3. Fossil Fuel Extraction continues to Directly Inflict Thousands of Human Deaths
  4. Why do Reputed Consultants like BCG remain Blind and Ignorant to Solar PV Advances and Competitiveness
  5. Google,Good Energies look to Realize part of 4000 GW US Offshore Wind Energy Potential through Offshore Underground Electricity Transmission
  6. US takes first baby steps towards offshore wind at Cape Cod after 10 years of procrastination
  7. Why has Nuclear Energy hit a Wall in the Developed World
  8. Offshore Wind Energy Blows Strongly in Europe and China even as it gets Stalled in the USA
  9. Poor Island Nations Most Vulnerable to Climate Change highlight Rich Nations Duplicity
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Abhishek Shah

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. derek dutton

    All the wind/solar claims are based onreducing CO2. But the amount of C0 2 in the atmosphere is minute, less than .5%. The American?Japanese Arctic Research Centre, the undoubted leading climate laboratory, declares there is no scientific validity that CO2 warms the atmosphere, that is the major (70%) greenhouse gas, water vapour, A belief that humans can control the climate is madness, One volcano eruption wipes out years of “Green ” efforts.