Just recently, federal regulators have requested a Maryland wind farmer to curb the number of planned turbines from 50 to 30 due to the potential threat towards bald eagles. In the past many environmental groups focused on dwindling bat and songbird populations to prove the detrimental impact of large wind turbines. Numerous lawsuits and litigations since 2009 alone sited undue risk to flora and fauna, halting the development of many planned wind farms. The final nail in the coffin might occur now that our national bird is also under quixotic attack.
Despite the legal hurdles, however, the wind energy industry did experience a banner year in 2012 prior to the presidential election due to President Obama’s tax break for alternative energy companies. Being such cheap energy with the presumed backing of the federal government (at least currently), wind certainly has the potential to offer quite the monetary blow to traditional energy sources such as coal and nuclear power. Which is exactly the argument coming from the environmentalists on the other side of the wind power debate.
While wind power is certainly in trouble these days, there is still plenty of evidence that gives hope to all sides. In North Carolina, for example, the first off shore wind farm is being tentatively planned with bipartisan support. And with the world’s largest research and development wind farm opening in Europe, surely, more fowl friendly windmills are on the horizon. No one ever said harnessing the power of the wind would be easy, but with time wind energy could be the alternative that pleases everyone.