Wind energy's frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The basics

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What are a turbine’s lifetime emissions?

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest ‘lifecycle emissions’ of all energy production technologies.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

What other environmental benefits does wind power bring?

Wind energy emits no toxic substances such as mercury and air pollutants like smog-creating nitrogen oxides, acid rain-forming sulphur dioxide and particulate deposits. These pollutants can trigger cancer, heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases, can acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and corrode buildings.

Wind energy creates no waste or water pollution. Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, wind technology uses very little water to produce electricity. Given the fact that water scarcity is pressing and will be exacerbated by climate change and population growth, wind energy is key to preserving water resources.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How much of our daily CO2 emissions can wind avoid?

Each year we release millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) contributing to climate change.

Wind energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions during its operation. A turbine will produce up to 80 times more energy than is used to build, install, operate, maintain and decommission it.

EWEA estimates that wind energy avoided the emission of 140 million tonnes of CO2 in 2011 in the EU, equivalent to taking 33% of cars in the EU – 71 million vehicles – off the road. This avoided CO2 costs of around €1.4 billion.

In 2020 wind energy will avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 80% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 8.5 bn.

In 2030 wind energy is projected to avoid 646 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 152% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 26 bn.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm animals, birds and marine life?

Big environmental and nature conservation groups like Birdlife, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Birdlife support wind energy. Birdlife recently stated that climate change was the single largest threat to birds and wind and renewables were a clear solution to climate change.

Wind farms are always subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that their potential effect on the immediate surroundings, including fauna and flora, are carefully considered before construction is allowed to start. Deaths from birds flying into wind turbines represent only a tiny fraction of those caused by other human-related sources such as vehicles and buildings.

A 2012 study carried out in the UK (Pearce- Higgins et al.) concluded that a large majority of species can co-exist or thrive with wind farms once they are operating (Journal of Applied Ecology).

According to the Greening Blue Energy study, “Including both on and offshore facilities, estimated rates of mortality for different bird species range from 0.01 to 23 mortalities per turbine per year” (Drewitt & Langston, 2005). It has been estimated that wind turbines in the US cause the direct deaths of only 0.01-0.02% of all of the birds killed annually by collisions with man-made structures and activities.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How popular are wind farms?

A 2013 Eurobarometer survey found that 70% of EU citizens think renewable energy should be prioritized as an energy option for the next 30 years.

Awareness campaigns such as the Global Wind Day help inform Europeans and people around the world about the benefits of wind energy.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Are wind turbines noisy?

The noise of wind turbines has been reduced significantly. Improved design has drastically reduced the noise of mechanical components so that the most audible sound is that of the wind interacting with the rotor blades. This is similar to a light swishing sound, and much quieter than other types of modern-day equipment. Even in generally quiet rural areas, the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines.

A 2010 Canadian report, ‘The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines’, confirmed that noise level emissions complied with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for residential areas.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm human health?

Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly energy sources. It emits no greenhouse gases or air pollutants. It emits no particles, unlike fossil fuels, which are carcinogenic and severely affect human health.

A study, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, was conducted in 2009 by a panel of medical professionals from the US, Canada, Denmark, and UK. The study concluded, “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds [including infrasound] emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.”

The Australian government and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conducted a study on ‘Wind Turbines and Health’ (2010) which concluded: ‘There are no direct pathological effects from wind farms […] any potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines’.

Category: FAQ topic 2

Electricity

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fold faq

What are a turbine’s lifetime emissions?

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest ‘lifecycle emissions’ of all energy production technologies.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

What other environmental benefits does wind power bring?

Wind energy emits no toxic substances such as mercury and air pollutants like smog-creating nitrogen oxides, acid rain-forming sulphur dioxide and particulate deposits. These pollutants can trigger cancer, heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases, can acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and corrode buildings.

Wind energy creates no waste or water pollution. Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, wind technology uses very little water to produce electricity. Given the fact that water scarcity is pressing and will be exacerbated by climate change and population growth, wind energy is key to preserving water resources.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How much of our daily CO2 emissions can wind avoid?

Each year we release millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) contributing to climate change.

Wind energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions during its operation. A turbine will produce up to 80 times more energy than is used to build, install, operate, maintain and decommission it.

EWEA estimates that wind energy avoided the emission of 140 million tonnes of CO2 in 2011 in the EU, equivalent to taking 33% of cars in the EU – 71 million vehicles – off the road. This avoided CO2 costs of around €1.4 billion.

In 2020 wind energy will avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 80% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 8.5 bn.

In 2030 wind energy is projected to avoid 646 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 152% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 26 bn.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm animals, birds and marine life?

Big environmental and nature conservation groups like Birdlife, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Birdlife support wind energy. Birdlife recently stated that climate change was the single largest threat to birds and wind and renewables were a clear solution to climate change.

Wind farms are always subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that their potential effect on the immediate surroundings, including fauna and flora, are carefully considered before construction is allowed to start. Deaths from birds flying into wind turbines represent only a tiny fraction of those caused by other human-related sources such as vehicles and buildings.

A 2012 study carried out in the UK (Pearce- Higgins et al.) concluded that a large majority of species can co-exist or thrive with wind farms once they are operating (Journal of Applied Ecology).

According to the Greening Blue Energy study, “Including both on and offshore facilities, estimated rates of mortality for different bird species range from 0.01 to 23 mortalities per turbine per year” (Drewitt & Langston, 2005). It has been estimated that wind turbines in the US cause the direct deaths of only 0.01-0.02% of all of the birds killed annually by collisions with man-made structures and activities.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How popular are wind farms?

A 2013 Eurobarometer survey found that 70% of EU citizens think renewable energy should be prioritized as an energy option for the next 30 years.

Awareness campaigns such as the Global Wind Day help inform Europeans and people around the world about the benefits of wind energy.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Are wind turbines noisy?

The noise of wind turbines has been reduced significantly. Improved design has drastically reduced the noise of mechanical components so that the most audible sound is that of the wind interacting with the rotor blades. This is similar to a light swishing sound, and much quieter than other types of modern-day equipment. Even in generally quiet rural areas, the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines.

A 2010 Canadian report, ‘The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines’, confirmed that noise level emissions complied with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for residential areas.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm human health?

Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly energy sources. It emits no greenhouse gases or air pollutants. It emits no particles, unlike fossil fuels, which are carcinogenic and severely affect human health.

A study, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, was conducted in 2009 by a panel of medical professionals from the US, Canada, Denmark, and UK. The study concluded, “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds [including infrasound] emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.”

The Australian government and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conducted a study on ‘Wind Turbines and Health’ (2010) which concluded: ‘There are no direct pathological effects from wind farms […] any potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines’.

Category: FAQ topic 2

Environment

Show all / Hide all

fold faq

What are a turbine’s lifetime emissions?

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest ‘lifecycle emissions’ of all energy production technologies.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

What other environmental benefits does wind power bring?

Wind energy emits no toxic substances such as mercury and air pollutants like smog-creating nitrogen oxides, acid rain-forming sulphur dioxide and particulate deposits. These pollutants can trigger cancer, heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases, can acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and corrode buildings.

Wind energy creates no waste or water pollution. Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, wind technology uses very little water to produce electricity. Given the fact that water scarcity is pressing and will be exacerbated by climate change and population growth, wind energy is key to preserving water resources.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How much of our daily CO2 emissions can wind avoid?

Each year we release millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) contributing to climate change.

Wind energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions during its operation. A turbine will produce up to 80 times more energy than is used to build, install, operate, maintain and decommission it.

EWEA estimates that wind energy avoided the emission of 140 million tonnes of CO2 in 2011 in the EU, equivalent to taking 33% of cars in the EU – 71 million vehicles – off the road. This avoided CO2 costs of around €1.4 billion.

In 2020 wind energy will avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 80% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 8.5 bn.

In 2030 wind energy is projected to avoid 646 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 152% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 26 bn.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm animals, birds and marine life?

Big environmental and nature conservation groups like Birdlife, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Birdlife support wind energy. Birdlife recently stated that climate change was the single largest threat to birds and wind and renewables were a clear solution to climate change.

Wind farms are always subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that their potential effect on the immediate surroundings, including fauna and flora, are carefully considered before construction is allowed to start. Deaths from birds flying into wind turbines represent only a tiny fraction of those caused by other human-related sources such as vehicles and buildings.

A 2012 study carried out in the UK (Pearce- Higgins et al.) concluded that a large majority of species can co-exist or thrive with wind farms once they are operating (Journal of Applied Ecology).

According to the Greening Blue Energy study, “Including both on and offshore facilities, estimated rates of mortality for different bird species range from 0.01 to 23 mortalities per turbine per year” (Drewitt & Langston, 2005). It has been estimated that wind turbines in the US cause the direct deaths of only 0.01-0.02% of all of the birds killed annually by collisions with man-made structures and activities.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How popular are wind farms?

A 2013 Eurobarometer survey found that 70% of EU citizens think renewable energy should be prioritized as an energy option for the next 30 years.

Awareness campaigns such as the Global Wind Day help inform Europeans and people around the world about the benefits of wind energy.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Are wind turbines noisy?

The noise of wind turbines has been reduced significantly. Improved design has drastically reduced the noise of mechanical components so that the most audible sound is that of the wind interacting with the rotor blades. This is similar to a light swishing sound, and much quieter than other types of modern-day equipment. Even in generally quiet rural areas, the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines.

A 2010 Canadian report, ‘The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines’, confirmed that noise level emissions complied with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for residential areas.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm human health?

Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly energy sources. It emits no greenhouse gases or air pollutants. It emits no particles, unlike fossil fuels, which are carcinogenic and severely affect human health.

A study, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, was conducted in 2009 by a panel of medical professionals from the US, Canada, Denmark, and UK. The study concluded, “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds [including infrasound] emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.”

The Australian government and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conducted a study on ‘Wind Turbines and Health’ (2010) which concluded: ‘There are no direct pathological effects from wind farms […] any potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines’.

Category: FAQ topic 2

Economy

Show all / Hide all

fold faq

What are a turbine’s lifetime emissions?

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest ‘lifecycle emissions’ of all energy production technologies.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

What other environmental benefits does wind power bring?

Wind energy emits no toxic substances such as mercury and air pollutants like smog-creating nitrogen oxides, acid rain-forming sulphur dioxide and particulate deposits. These pollutants can trigger cancer, heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases, can acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and corrode buildings.

Wind energy creates no waste or water pollution. Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, wind technology uses very little water to produce electricity. Given the fact that water scarcity is pressing and will be exacerbated by climate change and population growth, wind energy is key to preserving water resources.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How much of our daily CO2 emissions can wind avoid?

Each year we release millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) contributing to climate change.

Wind energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions during its operation. A turbine will produce up to 80 times more energy than is used to build, install, operate, maintain and decommission it.

EWEA estimates that wind energy avoided the emission of 140 million tonnes of CO2 in 2011 in the EU, equivalent to taking 33% of cars in the EU – 71 million vehicles – off the road. This avoided CO2 costs of around €1.4 billion.

In 2020 wind energy will avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 80% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 8.5 bn.

In 2030 wind energy is projected to avoid 646 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 152% of the EU’s car fleet off the road and avoiding CO2 costs of around € 26 bn.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm animals, birds and marine life?

Big environmental and nature conservation groups like Birdlife, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Birdlife support wind energy. Birdlife recently stated that climate change was the single largest threat to birds and wind and renewables were a clear solution to climate change.

Wind farms are always subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure that their potential effect on the immediate surroundings, including fauna and flora, are carefully considered before construction is allowed to start. Deaths from birds flying into wind turbines represent only a tiny fraction of those caused by other human-related sources such as vehicles and buildings.

A 2012 study carried out in the UK (Pearce- Higgins et al.) concluded that a large majority of species can co-exist or thrive with wind farms once they are operating (Journal of Applied Ecology).

According to the Greening Blue Energy study, “Including both on and offshore facilities, estimated rates of mortality for different bird species range from 0.01 to 23 mortalities per turbine per year” (Drewitt & Langston, 2005). It has been estimated that wind turbines in the US cause the direct deaths of only 0.01-0.02% of all of the birds killed annually by collisions with man-made structures and activities.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

How popular are wind farms?

A 2013 Eurobarometer survey found that 70% of EU citizens think renewable energy should be prioritized as an energy option for the next 30 years.

Awareness campaigns such as the Global Wind Day help inform Europeans and people around the world about the benefits of wind energy.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Are wind turbines noisy?

The noise of wind turbines has been reduced significantly. Improved design has drastically reduced the noise of mechanical components so that the most audible sound is that of the wind interacting with the rotor blades. This is similar to a light swishing sound, and much quieter than other types of modern-day equipment. Even in generally quiet rural areas, the sound of the blowing wind is often louder than the turbines.

A 2010 Canadian report, ‘The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines’, confirmed that noise level emissions complied with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for residential areas.

Category: FAQ topic 2
fold faq

Do wind turbines harm human health?

Wind energy is one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly energy sources. It emits no greenhouse gases or air pollutants. It emits no particles, unlike fossil fuels, which are carcinogenic and severely affect human health.

A study, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, was conducted in 2009 by a panel of medical professionals from the US, Canada, Denmark, and UK. The study concluded, “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds [including infrasound] emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.”

The Australian government and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) conducted a study on ‘Wind Turbines and Health’ (2010) which concluded: ‘There are no direct pathological effects from wind farms […] any potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines’.

Category: FAQ topic 2