Myths & Facts

Myth: Wind farms won’t help climate change

Fact: Wind power is a clean, renewable source of energy which produces no greenhouse gas emissions or waste products and will save the emission of carbon dioxide. Onshore wind farms reduce CO2 emissions, provide energy security, and contribute to the local and national economy. Research conducted by RenewableUK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has shown that for each installed megawatt (MW), around £100,000 stays in the community during the lifetime of a project. – Info supplied by Renewables UK

 

Myth: Wind farms are inefficient 

Fact: Onshore wind works well in the UK because of the excellent wind resource. It has also become one of the most cost effective forms of renewable energy, providing over 5,000MW of capacity. A modern 2.5MW (commercial scale) turbine, on a reasonable site, will generate 6.5 million units of electricity each year – enough to make 230 million cups of tea. – See more at: Renewables UK

 

Myth: Installing wind farms will never shut down power stations

Fact: The simple fact is that power plants in the UK are being shut down, either through European legislation on emissions or sheer old age. We need to act now to find replacement power sources: wind is an abundant resource, indigenous to the UK and therefore has a vital role to play in the new energy portfolio.

 

Myth: The UK should invest in other renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency instead of wind power
Fact: Wind energy’s role in combating climate change is not a matter of either/or. The UK will need a mix of new and existing renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures, and as quickly as possible. Significant amounts of investment have been allocated for wave and tidal energy development, and these technologies, along with solar and biomass energy, will have an important role in the UK’s future energy mix. However, wind energy is the most cost effective renewable energy technology available to generate clean electricity and help combat climate change right now. Furthermore, developing a strong wind industry will facilitate other renewable technologies which have not reached commercialisation yet, accumulating valuable experience in dealing with issues such as grid connection, supply chain and finance.

 

Myth: Wind farms should all be put out at sea

Fact: We will need a mix of both onshore and offshore wind energy to meet the UK’s challenging targets on climate change.  Offshore wind farms take longer to develop, as the sea is inherently a more hostile environment. To expect offshore to be the only form of wind generation allowed would therefore be to condemn us to missing our renewable energy targets and commitment to tackle climate change.

 

Myth: Wind farms are ugly and unpopular
Fact: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether you think a wind turbine is attractive or not will always be your personal opinion. Opinion polls consistently show high levels of support for onshore wind in the UK, with higher support in rural areas. In the UK, there are numerous onshore wind projects, ranging from single turbines to larger, multi-turbine schemes. Projects are developed by an increasingly diverse range of people, from large energy companies and independent developers, to community groups or small businesses and farms – See more at: Renewables UK

Myth: Wind farms negatively affect tourism
Fact: There is no evidence to suggest this. The UK’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole received 350,000 visitors in its first ten years of operation, while 10,000 visitors a year come to take the turbine tour at the EcoTech Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk. A MORI poll in Scotland showed that 80% of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm. Wind farm developers are often asked to provide visitor centres, viewing platforms and rights of way to their sites.

Myth: Wind farms harm property prices
Fact: Much media coverage of wind farms presumes that they have a negative impact on local house prices,but there is no clear evidence to show whether or not this is the case.
Expert academic research published in the UK and abroad shows there is no conclusive evidence that wind farms consistently, measurably or significantly affect house prices.

Myth: Wind farms kill birds
Fact: Climate change poses the single greatest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife, and the RSPB recognises the essential role of renewable energy in addressing this problem.

The RSPB favours energy efficiency together with a broad mix of renewables, including solar, wind, biomass (for heat and power) and marine power; used in ways that minimise damage to the natural environment. For further information visit  the RSPB Website

 Myth: Wind farms are noisy

Fact: The evolution of wind farm technology over the past decade has rendered mechanical noise from turbines almost undetectable with the main sound being the aerodynamic swoosh of the blades passing the tower. There are strict guidelines on wind turbines and noise emissions to ensure the protection of residential amenity.

  • Social Enterprise UK
  • Keyfund
  • I'm a member - Community Energy England