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Wind farm health, historian featured in my recent Renewable Energy World pieces

Health, Human impacts, Wind turbines Add comments

This winter, I had a couple pieces published by Renewable Energy World that I neglected to link to here.  They’re both typical AEI looks at wind energy: seeking the sweet spot in which wind power generation can continue to become a bigger part of our energy mix, while avoiding negative impacts on nearby neighbors.

The first was a piece highlighting the recently published history of wind power, written by Robert Righter, which I also covered in this earlier post.  Righter, who wrote an earlier history of wind in the 90s, is a big booster of the industry, which makes his strong and repeated calls to avoid siting close to unwilling neighbors all the more striking, and powerful.  He doesn’t come out with a setback distance he’d recommend, but at one point seems to suggest it would likely be in the range of a mile or more, at least in some situations.  Read that piece on Renewable Energy World here.

And, a couple weeks later, they ran a longer-than-usual piece on health effects being reported near wind farms.  I’ll have a long post here in the next couple weeks that takes a close look at recent research in communities being especially affected by wind farms, most by clearly cautionary researchers.  Perhaps surprisingly to some wind activists, even most of these highlight the stress-related symptoms being reported, with very little emphasis on direct exposure impacts; they also tend to estimate that health effects are likely to be occurring in a relatively small minority of folks within a mile or so (the estimates range from 5-20%), often a subset of the much larger proportion reporting significant annoyance.

As always, these REW pieces generate a lot of engaged commenters; check out the comment streams for more from many perspectives.  This link shows all the articles I’ve published on REW.

 

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