In Southern Ontario, the anti-wind movement has become quite aggressive. I have first-hand experience of this hate-on-all-things-wind, as turbines are being built by my grandfather’s cottage and home on the lakeshore (and let me tell you, he is not happy).
At family gatherings my grandpa will go off about the health issues, noise, and the unattractiveness of these wind turbines by residential areas. Seeing as he feels so strongly about these green energy initiatives, I decided to look into the issue a little further. As I reviewed both sides of the wind debate, I found most evidence leans towards wind as a sustainable form of energy. There are plenty of common anti-wind myths, although the following are some of the most common:
1) Wind farms are loud. False. In fact, strict guidelines on wind turbines ensure that the noise is at a suitable level for residential areas. On a decibels chart, wind turbines fall around 50 (more than a bedroom but less than an office).
2) Wind farms are dangerous to human health. False. Wind farms create no emissions, waste products, or harmful pollutants. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health performed extensive reviews and concluded that there is no evidence to indicate that the low frequency sounds cause adverse health effects.
3) Wind energy is expensive. False. Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner analyzed the average power bill and found that renewable energy accounts for only 0.2 cents of the average 13 cent/kWh a household pays for electricity.
As for those concerned with the looks of the wind turbines- take a look at the Alberta oil sands and tell me they look better.
Of course those who live near these new wind farms will have concerns with the project, but these misconceptions need to be addressed. So please, give wind a chance!