When we think of wind turbines, we often think of clean, presentable structures that do good things for the environment by generating a supply of clean and renewable electricity. When you look closer at wind turbines, you often find there are impacts associated with these, many of which are described on the page.
Below are many of the common impacts of wind turbines and wind farms.
Noise pollution associated with wind turbines mainly impacts on those residents living in communities close to such installations. You don’t truly appreciate the noise a wind turbine produces until you have the chance to stand close to one. A deep, bass-like hum is produced by a single operating wind turbine and can be heard for a significant distance from the installation (depending on the size of the turbine).
When wind farms are taken into consideration, the noise pollution produced has the potential to escalate into a severe nuisance for small, local populations. This impact alone has detrimental effects on a wide range of related aspects including property value and our health.
Although many of us consider wind turbines to be visually acceptable and in some cases even nice to see, how many of us would seriously like one of these placed a few hundred meters from our homes?
Wind turbines can be anywhere from a few meters to a hundred meters high depending on the scale of the project. Having a wind turbine tower over their home is the last thing any resident wants.
Impact on Our Health
You wouldn’t think a wind turbine could affect our health however you would be wrong. Although the operation of a wind turbine doesn’t directly impact out health, factors such as stress and loss of sleep contribute to health problems for some residents living close to these installations. Stress can be caused by frustrated residents having to put up with noise pollution, visual impact and loss of land value whilst loss of sleep can be experienced by people living close to wind turbines as a result of noise pollution.
Impact on Wildlife
A less documented impact of a wind turbine is mainly argued by wildlife groups. At some wind farm locations, birds have been found dead around the base of turbines, in some cases including rare and protected species. Stood on the ground, we may not consider the blades of a wind turbine to be a threat to wildlife, however the force of these blades are more than capable of harming wildlife.
Impact on Land Value
When a wind farm is built, the land value of surrounding homes and businesses is likely to be affected. This had led to difficulty for some homeowners wishing to sell their homes and move on, with many having to stay put or risk losing significant amounts of money.
So there we have it, some of the impacts of wind turbine developments that are common across the globe.
Although these impacts are significant, newer technologies are making wind turbines ever more friendly towards the surrounding environment, and as our energy demands grow, we can expect to see many more wind farms constructed across the world.
If you found this article useful, you might also be interested in our article covering both the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy.