Wind energy news is being created daily. From the rapid development of wind turbines in China, where they are leading the world in building alternative energy generators, to most power supply companies seeking to balance their carbon liability in power generation.
Also of acute interest is China currently producing 95% plus of the world's rare earths. Many kilograms of these are needed for the magnets within each wind turbine generating unit. China wants to retain more of its production for its own use which limits what is available for the rest of the world for their turbines, limiting availability and driving up the price.
In many people's eyes utilising wind seems one of the simplest means to develop a renewable energy source. It does seem that way being so relatively accessible.
To ensure the most suitable power supply proposed sites need to have the most consistent, strong wind exposures. This along with choosing areas that will not interfere with inherent local landscape beauty and value.
Power companies are buying up land for this purpose, even if they are not erecting the turbines. In the current carbon liability climate they need these areas in their portfolios.
With their huge incomes they have the clout to purchase practically any land that suits them. Very few other applications can generate an equivalent return. Where land is not available for sale they can offer lucratively tempting leases for siting turbines on farmer's land.
In recent years there has been more wind energy news about people living near wind turbines seeming to develop some health problems. The symptoms attributed to them are many and varied.
Wind generation power companies have come out saying all these claimed health effects are all stress related and that there is no evidence of the turbines causing any of it. They quote figures for sound readings around turbines showing very low decibel volumes. But these are averaged readings.
People deciding to move from wind farm areas, unable to sell their homes, have been bought out by the power companies insisting on gagging orders to prevent further disclosures.
Various areas of research, some even begun in other areas before the earliest complaints, give credence to the concerns.
New revelations and committees sitting to hear evidence are likely to release more news in the months to years ahead.
If the health effects are proven and wind farm locations need to be reconsidered there is the chance of using offshore locations some kilometres or miles out to sea. Although the water surface will allow some ready reflection of sound, distance can be adjusted accordingly.
Such sitings need to balanced with any navigation risk to shipping and the significantly increased cost of laying power feed lines from such positions. Wind energy is already relatively costly.
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