Environmental impact of wind energy: Synthesis and Review

Jakob Mann, Jonas Teilmann

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    Abstract

    One purpose of wind turbines is to provide pollution-free electric power at a reasonable price in an environmentally sound way. In this focus issue the latest research on the environmental impact of wind farms is presented. Offshore wind farms affect the marine fauna in both positive and negative ways. For example, some farms are safe havens for porpoises while other farms show fewer harbor porpoises even after ten years. Atmospheric computer experiments are carried out to investigate the possible impact and resource of future massive installations of wind turbines. The following questions are treated. What is the global capacity for energy production by the wind? Will the added turbulence and reduced wind speeds generated by massive wind farms cool or heat the surface? Can wind farms affect precipitation? It is also shown through life-cycle analysis how wind energy can reduce the atmospheric emission of eight air pollutants. Finally, noise generation and its impact on humans are studied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number035001
    JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Number of pages3
    ISSN1748-9318
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

    Keywords

    • Offshore wind farm
    • Benthos
    • Birds
    • Marine mammals
    • Climate impact
    • Wind energy
    • Atmospheric models
    • Life-cycle assessment

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