What Are the Truths Behind These Wind Turbine Myths?

wind turbine

The quest to save the environment has motivated people around the world to look for alternative sources of power because gas, coal, and nuclear energy are detrimental to the planet. But even if many communities have found alternative ways to power their facilities and houses, like the Chevelon Butte Wind Farm, there are still detractors who have come up with myths about these turbines in the hopes that the people and the government would go back to using traditional sources of energy.

Myth #1: Wind turbines aren’t reliable

Granted, wind turbines can’t generate electricity 24/7 because strong winds aren’t always available. But, wind turbines located in offshore sites are much more effective in generating enough electricity to power cities longer than other wind farms.

According to some reports, offshore sites can generate 4,000 full load hours per year, which means that they can power up communities 50% of the time. It may not be enough and it may take some time before scientists can come up with a much more effective strategy, but still there’s progress in this technology.

Myth #2: Wind turbines kill birds

It’s not surprising that some people would think that wind turbines could kill birds because they’re basically giant propellers. But, designers of wind turbines have actually taken this into account.

Studying the flight paths of different migratory birds, they found out that most birds fly higher than the wind turbines, so they’re safe. Also, people responsible for bird conservation have devised ways to ensure that these animals don’t fly too close to these machines.

Myth #3: Wind turbines aren’t eco-friendly

wind turbine and solar panelSome people say this two reasons: constructing them contributes to a large amount of carbon dioxide and the material (neodymium) used in these machines is detrimental to the environment. Even if these are true, however, it only takes a few months to finish the construction. After that, there is zero carbon dioxide emission from operating wind turbines.

On the issue of neodymium, this rare metal can be harmful only if it is discarded improperly. Scientists say its health impact on humans is small unless people start rubbing it in their eyes, which will definitely cause some irritation. But so far, people in the wind energy industry have taken strict measures to protect the environment and people from this rare metal.

Myth #4: Wind turbines make you sick

This myth is quite old, starting in the 1960s when infrasound was said to be capable of causing anxiety, nervous breakdowns, and allergic reactions. One particular scientist, Vladimir Gavreau, tried to confirm this by conducting an experiment using infrasound.

Gavreau claimed that his experiment was able to confirm that sound could destabilize a human. But, other scientists said his findings were inaccurate and misleading. They said Gavreau simply used infrasound in high volumes, which can be detrimental to any person.

Just imagine being subjected to very loud heavy metal music for several hours, and you’ll visualize yourself developing a migraine. In short, Gavreau’s experiment was ludicrous and yet people saw merit in it. And because wind turbines were discovered to emit low levels of infrasound, people wrongfully claimed that they were dangerous to humans.