Wind Energy & the Environment

Wind energy works, is increasingly cost-effective, has a net positive environmental impact, and is compatible with most existing land uses. The links below touch on the topic of wind’s environmental benefits and impacts.

A Windmill Near Brighton By John Constable

Learning to love monsters: Windmills were once just machines on the land but now seem delightfully bucolic. Could wind turbines win us over too?

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Yet perceptions of windmills have not been uniformly idyllic. Since they first appeared on the landscape of medieval Europe, windmills represented an imposition of the technological on the pastoral. They were, in the phrase of the wind energy author Paul Gipe, ‘machines in the garden’, straddling the boundary of the agrarian and mechanical.

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Glossary of Wind Energy Terminology

By

Paul Gipe

This 30,000 word glossary was written by Paul Gipe and Bill Canter in the late-1990s. I’ve added the glossary to my web site for both its historical content—many of the terms were in use during the 1980s and 1990s—and as a reference for the thousands of newcomers to the wind industry since it was first published.

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California condors continue decades-long return from annihilation

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External Source

A dozen more condors are sailing Kern skies as part of a yearslong conservation effort that has recently included local clean energy companies to save the endangered bird. In a May 1 announcement, energy company Avangrid announced it exceeded conditions set in a conservation plan it created with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2021 to fund the raising of a dozen California condors at the Oregon Zoo.

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38th Annual Windmill-Wildflower Hike Planned for Tehachapi 18 May 2024

By

Paul Gipe

Tehachapi Windmill-Wildflower Hike 2024 38th hike Paul Gipe and Georgette Theotig will lead a hike among the wind turbines on …

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Yes, wind turbines kill birds. But fracking is much worse

By

Sammy Roth

It’s also why journalists should avoid treating bird deaths at wind farms as unforgivable sins, rather than as nasty side effects of renewable energy development that we should work hard to minimize but likely can’t avoid entirely. As part of his study, Katovich used the International Newsstream database to run a comparison. He found that in 2020, major U.S. news outlets published 173 stories about the effects of wind farms on birds — and just 46 stories on fracking impacts. I wrote last week that it’s time to see the world through climate-colored goggles. That’s true for the media as much as anyone.

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A new wind farm in Kansas trailblazes with light-mitigating technology

By

Michelle Lewis

Sunflower Wind is the first in the state to feature an Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) that uses radar to scan for aircraft. When ADLS is installed on a wind farm, the nighttime lights on the turbines blink only when aircraft are detected, thus reducing light pollution for residents who live close enough to be able to see them. Approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required to install ADLS, and the FAA reviews every turbine individually. The FAA requires that the ADLS activate and flash if an aircraft is at or below 1,000 feet above the tallest wind turbine and is approaching a three-nautical mile (3.45-mile) perimeter around the wind farm.

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