NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Problems With Wind Power

August 1, 2002

Critics say wind power is neither a viable nor a desirable energy source. However, due to state mandates and federal tax subsidies, some energy producers -- including Enron -- have made substantial investments in windmills. Among their criticisms:

  • Wind power is intermittent.
  • To produce the same amount of energy as a conventional gas-fired power plant, wind farms need 85 times more land area.
  • Community members often complain about the blinding strobe-light sensation that takes place on wind farms at dawn and dusk and about the loud noise pollution.
  • It costs twice as much as electricity generated from fossil fuels.

Finally, wind power has a devastating effect on birds. In Northern California's Altamont Pass, more than 400 endangered or protected birds are killed every year by wind turbines, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and kestrels.

Source: Michael Heberling, "Energy Answer Is Not "Blowing in the Wind," Environment and Climate News, July 2002, Heartland Institute.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues