The idea of generating electricity from the wind always seems attractive at first glance. However, wind continues to generate only one percent of world power. Increasing that percentage requires adding thousands upon thousands of new turbines. Many people, such as those who left in protest when the RSPB endorsed British turbine plans and organizations such as Wind Watch, question whether wind power can truly be considered friendly to the environment if it takes a major toll on wildlife. They oppose planting industrial towers midst previously unspoiled coastal and rural vistas.
In the U.S., most would have expected the late Senator Ted Kennedy (a fixture of the American left) to back wind power, yet he fought fiercely against a proposal to place turbines in Nantucket Sound, spoiling the view of his boyhood sailing waters.
Can wind power become efficient enough to operate without subsidies? Will it be required to live up to the same conservation standards followed by other energy producers?
Let’s hope we can find a place for wind power, but let’s remember the hen harriers, golden plovers, snipes, curlews, wheatears, meadow pipitbirds and even the buzzards and not allow these turbines to blight the very environments taxpayers have subsidized wind so generously to protect.